Shiso Jalapeno Cocktail with Concord Grape and Sumac

by Grace Bonney

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting artist and photographer Julia Sherman of when she interviewed my for her blog. Salad for President is a fascinating project that involves a wide range of artists coming to the MoMA PS1 Salad Garden (which Julia S. maintains) and creating a salad. It’s a mixture of food and art in a way that highlights fresh local ingredients and artistic presentations. I’ve been following the blog’s projects all fall and was excited to hear that Julia had been working on a new project: a made from the Shiso-Jalapeno grown at the MoMA PS1 Salad Garden.

Along with , Julia created this unique cocktail syrup and has been perfecting it in cocktail-form with some help from her friend and bartender, . Arley and Julia came up with a drink that combines concord grapes and tangy sumac. The tart flavor of the grapes pairs perfectly with the sumac (which has a lemony taste) and the syrup adds a kick to the drink that Julia loves. I’m so excited to share this here today and am excited to see what else Julia will create next! xo, grace

*Julia is hosting a giveaway on Instagram to win a bottle of cocktail syrup! Check out her Instagram feed for more details.The winner will be announced by 5 pm tomorrow.

Click through for the full recipe after the jump!

Shiso Jalapeno Cocktail with Concord Grape and Sumac


1/2 oz.
1.5 oz vodka
1/2 oz Lillet
5 – 6 fresh shiso leaves
1/4 lemon (peel on)
1 concord grape (just the skin, not the flesh)
3 tbs ground sumac


1. Create a pool of sumac powder on a small dish. Take 1/2 lemon and wet the rim of your cocktail glasses. Spin the rim of the glasses in the sumac until the rims are coated in the sumac. Set aside.

2. Shake Shiso – Jalapeno Syrup bottle before use. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, Lillet, Shiso – Jalapeno Syrup, 1/4 lemon (squeezed and then left whole), shiso leaves and skin of a concord grape. Muddle aggressively for a good 60 seconds to release the oils from the citrus peel and shiso.

3. Fill shaker with ice cubes, shake vigorously.

4. Strain cocktail through a fine meshed sieve into glasses, garnish with lemon zest and shiso leaf.

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