Every Friday, Mike Augustyniak picks up a new cocktail recipe from a local mixologist. This Friday, Mike shares a recipe from United Noodles, a restaurant and deli offering an authentic taste of Japanese and Chinese cuisine. This week’s selection is a refreshing, blended beverage perfect for those warm summer nights.

Shiso-Watermelon Cooler
Makes two cocktails
2 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
4 oz. vodka
2 oz. apple juice (or use another sweet fruit juice of your choice)
Ginger ale or ginger beer (optional)
2 shiso leaves, cut into strips

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In a blender, add the watermelon and vodka. Pulse until smooth. Add the apple juice and pulse two or three times to combine. Pour into two glasses filled with ice. Top with a splash of ginger ale and sprinkle with the shiso strips.

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Taste Test
This drink is pretty straightforward – it’s watermelon and vodka, with an optional splash of ginger ale or ginger beer for fizz. What could go wrong?! The shiso leaves are a garnish and provide some extra flavor; but, if you really enjoy the citrus & basil notes that they bring to the cocktail, feel free to blend them in with the watermelon chunks for a more robust taste. Eric Fung from United Noodles says shiso leaves can also be substituted for basil leaves in spaghetti sauce.

About United Noodles
Offering the “True Tastes of Asia” since 1972, United Noodles stocks more than 8,000 products from 15 different countries – the widest selection in the Midwest. UniDeli, the store’s in-store deli, features authentic Chinese and Japanese cuisine, as well as a pop-up ramen shop on Mondays. United Noodles is located at 2015 East 24th Street near the Franklin Avenue Station on the Hiawatha light rail line. Learn more about the store and events online.

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To find more recipes from Mike’s Mix, click here.