These cocktails are a breeze to mix up, but they do require a couple speciality items: shiso leaves and Serrano DRY. My neighbors pointed out two giant shiso plants in the jungly oasis they planted between our places, so I’ve been trying to come up with lots of things to do with the leaves. They have such a unique scent and flavor, I’m obsessed (and stoked that I can just go pick them whenever I want now!). If you don’t have generous neighbors with green thumbs, you should be able to find fresh shiso leaves at fancy grocery stores or Asian grocers. Serrano Pepper is one of DRY Sparkling’s limited summer flavors, so get it while you can (their website usually lists where you can find it). For straight sipping, I actually prefer their other summer flavor, Malali Watermelon (it seriously smells and tastes like a fresh juicy watermelon, no fake melon flavor at all), but the Serrano is great for cocktails, especially savory sweet ones like these! If you can’t find it, just use plain soda water (but it will change the flavor). If you like an extra kick, you can add a slice of actual Serrano pepper (though spicy cocktails aren’t for me!). Also, crushed ice would have been real cute in these, but when happy hour (i.e.: noon on a Sunday) is calling, ain't nobody got time to crush some ice.
Note: This post is NOT sponsored, and all opinions are my own, but I did get a free sample of the Serrano DRY from their summer release party last week!
Tropical Garden Party Cocktail
Makes one 1/2 pint cocktail
1 large shiso leaf
2 slices of cucumber plus 1 more for garnish
1 ounce Hendricks gin (or more as desired)
Serrano DRY Sparkling
Put shiso leaf and cucumber slices in glass. Muddle together until mashed up and fragrant. Fill glass with ice. Add a splash of pineapple juice, and fill glass 3/4 full with lemonade. Fill remainder of glass with Serrano DRY. Stir, garnish with a cuke slice, and enjoy!
Feel free to adjust quantities based on your tastes.