Updated: February 13, 2018
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Umeshu: How To Make Japanese Plum Wine And Some Ways To Drink It!

Umeshu translates to plum wine. It is a very enjoyable drink which you can easily make on your own! Umeshu also has many health benefits, which gives you another reason to try it!

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What is "Umeshu" (梅酒): Plum wine...?

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"Umeshu" literally means plum wine. It is a kind of traditional liqueur enjoyed in Japan. The main ingredients are ume (Japanese plum), sugar, and alcohol (usually white liqueur, whiskey, or shochu are used). You can easily purchase umeshu at any grocery store if you live in Japan but you can also make it at home. It is super easy to make!

In order to make umeshu on your own, you have to mix ume and sugar into the alcohol and wait a few months, sometimes up to a whole year. The longer you wait, the deeper the taste becomes.

Umeshu tastes just so good only by itself but it can also be drunk with soda and water. The sweet taste of umeshu makes it very easy to drink. Be careful not to drink too much. Umeshu has around a 10% alcohol content.

Since umeshu does not have an expiration date, once after your umeshu is ready, you can enjoy it for a long time without worrying it might go bad. The ume plums used for making it can be eaten as well.

Umeshu plum wine recipe

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-1 kg of Green Japanese plums
-0.2 to 1 kg of sugar (the amount of sugar depends on how sweet you want your umeshu)
-1.8 liter of alcohol (usually white liqueur, whiskey, or shochu) with an alcohol content of 20% or higher.

-Any jar or container will be fine. (Make sure that they are clean and sterilized!)


Step1) Gently wash the plums and let them dry in shade.

Step2) Add plums and sugar alternately into the jar. The last layer should be sugar to prevent the plums from floating.

Step3) Pour in the alcohol and let the plums rest in the solution.

Wait a few months to a year...

Step4) Ready to drink! Enjoy!

Is umeshu good for your health?

Yes, umeshu is very healthy!

Traditionally, umeshu has been enjoyed not just for its good taste but also for its medicinal properties. The vitamins and minerals contained in the ume plums are said to be beautifying and good to help you get better when you are weak. Also, it's said to be the ideal drink to have in moderation to promote a good night's sleep.

How can a umeshu be served?

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In order to enjoy the real taste of umeshu, first, try it straight. The thick sweet flavor of ume plums is so tasty that you might become addicted if you like sweet drinks.

On the rock

On the rock style is probably the most popular. As the ice melts, the sweet, smooth smell of umeshu spreads.

Mizuwari: cut with cold water/ Oyuwari: cut with hot water

Mizuwari and oyuwari are the two major ways of drinking umeshu by adding some water. It does not only make your umeshu smoother to drink but also changes the flavor too. Be careful not to add so much, it will become too watery and may end up ruining the original flavor of umeshu.

Soda-wari: cut with soda

Want something really refreshing? Try it soda-wari! Instead of cutting your umeshu with water, pour in some soda. The sparkly sensation enhances the taste of umeshu. I personally recommend you to give it a try this way!

Other unique ways!

You're probably thinking that drinking is the only way to have umeshu. Quite wrong! Just like some chocolate sauces, you may pour some umeshu on your ice cream! You'll be surprised by how delicious this is.

Looking for some umeshu bars?

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Here's a great selection of bars to enjoy the distinctive Japanese plum wine in Tokyo.
Quite sure I'm a Ramen freak. Almost up to 200ramens in 2017. Not only ramens but also love to eat around and drink around.

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