Unlike western types of perilla, Vietnamese perilla leaves have green hues on the top side and purple hues on the bottom side of its leaves. Vietnamese perilla is often used raw for salads, soups, or garnish for stir-fried and noodle dishes. Traditionally, perilla leave is used for our traditional medicine due to its antioxidant, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, and tumor-preventing properties. Sounds like it pairs well with alcohol!
Even though, perilla leaves don’t sound familiar to many of our customers on Hanoi food tours. They often pick the leaves and “uhm – interesting” when tasting bun cha noodle soup, that’s when we know they should also try Vietnamese perilla cocktail along our way.
If you happen to see perilla leaves in your garden, pick some and make yourself a large glass of Vietnamese perilla cocktail with our recipe here.
- ½ lime
- 6 mint leaves
- 2 perilla leaves
- 2 oz (60 ml) of rum
- 1 oz (30 ml) of sugar
- 1 oz (30 ml) of water
- 1 oz (30 ml) of ginger and lemongrass cordial
- 5 oz (150 ml) of tonic water
- Juice ½ lime into a muddler. Muddle 6 mint leaves, 1 perilla leaf, and lime juice.
- In a saucepan, heat 1 oz of water and 1 oz of sugar to make 1 ½ simple syrup.
- Add 2 oz of rum, 1 ½ oz of simple syrup, and 1 oz of ginger and lemongrass cordial. Muddle.
- Shake well.
- Pour the mix into a tall glass with ice.
- Top with 5 oz of tonic water.
There you go. That’s how to make Vietnamese perilla cocktail for 1 person, with total 10 minutes preparation. We hope you enjoy making this Vietnamese drink at home, and please contact us if there is anything we can help.