Makes 5 ½ cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
12 ounces red shiso, cleaned and dried thoroughly
1 cup rice wine vinegar
8 ounces cane or granulated sugar
4 ounces honey
2 whole star anise
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar and 4 cups water to a boil. Add the shiso leaves and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Strain, reserving the cooking liquid. Be sure to squeeze out all of the liquid from the leaves before discarding them.
2. Transfer the cooking liquid back to the saucepan along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the sugar and honey have completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the star anise, then transfer the shrub to a Mason jar and cool. Cover and refrigerate. Shrub will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
3. To use, add gin or vodka and top with soda for a refreshing cocktail. Or simply top with soda water and a citrus garnish for a tangy, herbal, non-alcoholic drink.