Perilla Cucumber Mojito

Here’s a Korean twist on a classic Cuban cocktail, the Mojito. Mojitos are a rum-based cocktail made with limes, mint, sugar cane, and club soda. This cocktail adds fresh cucumber and perilla leaves instead of mint leaves, making this a delicious fusion cocktail!

I recently had my very first pop-up at the Japanese-American Cultural & Community Center, and I knew I wanted to incorporate some of my Cuban roots somehow. I didn’t have enough courses to make a Cuban dish, so instead I incorporated it into the cocktail pairing menu. 

This is without a doubt, one of the most delicious cocktail recipes I have ever created. It was a hit at the pop-up!

Ingredients:  

  • 2 oz light rum
  • 3/4 oz agave or simple syrup 
  • 3 perilla leaves (1 is for garnish)
  • 4 cucumber slices
  • 1 oz club soda

What is Perilla? Where to find it?

Perilla is a Korean herb (kkaenip) that is often used as ssam (lettuce wrap), but also used as an ingredient in a lot of cooking. It is even turned into a powder and used to flavor dishes that way. 

As a kid, I HATED perilla. I think this is the case for most Korean children. But as I got older, it came to be my favorite herb!

The flavor is kind of hard to describe- it’s very unique and often compared to shiso even though I think they taste nothing alike. It is part of the mint family and has a very strong taste and aroma. Some people say it has a slight anise flavor, which is interesting because I do not like anise at all. 

Perilla Cucumber Mojito

5 from 5 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz white rum or tequila, vodka, or gin
  • 3/4 oz agave syrup or simple syrup
  • 3 perilla leaves 1 is for garnish
  • 3 lime wedges (half a lime)
  • 4 cucumber slices
  • 1 oz club soda

Instructions
 

  • In a shaker, combine 4 cucumber slices, 3 lime wedges, and 2 perilla leaves that have been torn apart. Muddle until crushed and juices/oils are released.
  • Add 3/4 oz of agave nectar (or your choice of sweetener), 2 oz white rum, and ice. Shake vigorously for 5-10 seconds.
  • Double strain over fresh ice into a glass, then top with 1 oz of club soda.
  • Garnish with 1 perilla leaf.

*This post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use & recommend. I am not sponsored by these brands, but I do make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Cassandra

    5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious and refreshing, I love it! Can’t wait to make it again. ❤️

  2. Kathy

    5 stars
    Refreshing Twist on a Classic Mojito!
    I recently tried the Perilla Cucumber Mojito, and it was an absolute delight! The addition of perilla added a unique twist to the classic mojito flavor, providing a refreshing and aromatic experience.
    The combination of crisp cucumber and fragrant perilla complemented the traditional mint and lime perfectly. It was light, crisp, and incredibly refreshing – perfect for a hot summer day or any occasion.
    I highly recommend trying the Perilla Cucumber Mojito for a refreshing and flavorful take on a beloved classic cocktail. Cheers to innovation and delicious drinks!

  3. Benz

    5 stars
    Nice little Korean-American twist for a good summer drink.

  4. Viviane

    5 stars
    I grow perilla leaves in my garden. Planted them once and now they come back on their own (self seeding) each year. This is a fantastic way to use them. Love it!

  5. J

    5 stars
    I made this drink with my friend when her mom had a bunch of perilla leaves from her garden and it was such a brilliant idea to give a twist to a traditional mojito. Loved it!

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Hi, I'm Stella!

I come from a multicultural background, and cooking has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. My recipes are tried and tested, many of them passed down through family. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

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