“Blind date with a chancer, we had oysters and dry Lancers” begins the Pavement classic “Shady Lane.” As far as this warm-weather cooler is concerned, the song’s refrain says it all: “A Shady Lane, everybody wants one.”
Muddling the aromatic shiso leaves (found at Japanese markets), which taste something like a cross between mint and basil, lends a peppery element to this sweet-tart cocktail. The drink is also a tip of the hat to one of my favorite haunts, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, where David Chang keeps Pavement in heavy rotation, and where shiso pops up in both the food and the drink menus. In fact, Pavement bassist Mark Ibold is a bit of a gastronaut himself. In addition to playing with Sonic Youth and dabbling in freelance food styling, he also holds down a gig as bartender at the Great Jones Cafe in the East Village. Maybe if you see him and you ask very nicely, he’ll make you your own Shady Lane.
Reprinted with permission from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons, copyright © 2011. Photo by Ed Anderson © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.