‘Shiso Cuce’ is a tequila based cocktail that combines two uncommon ingredients, shiso also known as perilla and cucamelons.
The ‘Shiso Cuce’ cocktail derives its names from a play on words, where “cuce”/cuke refers to the cucamelon, one of the cutest vegetables around.
The tequila-based cocktail makes use of Shiso, or Perilla, a herb that belongs to the mint family and adds a peppery note to cocktails. In this case, shiso is used as a syrup. Cucamelons, also known as Mexican sour gherkins or mouse melons look like mini watermelons and taste like a cucumber with a hint of lime.
To make the cocktail, cucamelons are muddled with red chilli, lime juice and shiso syrup. Blanco tequila is added and the cocktail is shaken with ice. A little soda water lifts the flavours while adding a touch of effervescence.
The easy-drinking cocktail combines agave notes from the blanco tequila with a touch of heat from the chilli, a bright peppery note from the shiso syrup, along with a fresh and tangy subtle flavour from the cucamelon.
Cucamelons are a very easy vegetable to grow from seed in spring and summer. You can read more about growing cucamelons here. If you can’t get hold of cucamelons, you can use cucumber slices.
Shiso Cuce Cocktail Recipe
Original recipe created by Cocktails & Bars
- 45 ml blanco tequila
- 20 ml lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 20 ml shiso syrup
- 4 cucamelons, cut in half and muddled (reserve one for garnish)
- tip of 1 red birds eye chilli, muddled
- 30 ml soda water
Glassware: rocks glass
Garnish: cucamelon leaf or a sliced cucamelon
In a cocktail shaker, gently muddle the cucamelons, chilli with lime juice and shiso syrup. Add blanco tequila and ice cubes and shake had until the tin is very cold. Fine strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Add soda water and garnish with a cucamelon leaf or a sliced cucamelon.