My very first day in this town, I was taken to meet my landlord and more than anything else I remember the delicious, sweet, red juice I was served. Red shiso juice. A juice I haven't had the privilege of consuming ever since, because it's not really the kind of thing you can just buy in the supermarket.
Fast forward to another one of those conversations about things one likes. Turns out, if you have enough red shiso 赤紫蘇 you can make the drink at home. Really!? Well I promptly bought some plants and stuck them in a pot... and then went on holiday so that they could die in peace.
Cue today, when my husband arrives home after his Japanese lesson with a gift from one of my eikaiwa students: homemade red shiso syrup in a jar. Superheroes I tell you, superheroes.