Umeshu is a Japanese plum wine or liquor made by soaking green ume in white liquor and rock sugar. The first time I saw fresh, unripe ume plums in a store, it was 55 baht per kg, which wasn’t bad at all. I immediately thought of making this Japanese plum liqueur as this drink had been popular with Thais for some time. Japanese plum (梅) and the liqueur made from it have a long history in Japan.

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When consumed in moderation, plum wine can have particular health benefits. However, it ranked lower than wines made from sweet red grapes and blueberries. If you’re looking for a well-balanced drink, plum wine might be your best option.

Japan’s Best Umeshu: 7 Plum Wines You Must Try

Sometimes the translation is accurate; Often referred to as rice wine, sake is actually made from undistilled fermented rice. But umeshu is not a wine (in the western / English sense), but a schnapps. It is made by infusing a flavored distilled alcohol base and adding sugar. This Japanese plum wine tastes fruity and sweet with whole plums in the bottles.

Best Japanese Plum Wine

When we look at the plum wine boom in Japan, all eyes are on Umeshu, whose sales have doubled from eight to thirty-eight million dollars in five years. Umeshu is made from the ume fruit that is aged and fermented with the stone remaining in it. The drink is known for its citrus infusion, sour notes, and almond flavor accents. Umeshu is a Japanese plum wine made from green plums that cannot be eaten raw.

Straight From Wakayama Based

The word wine is usually used to describe a fermented alcoholic beverage, often made from grapes. This can be differentiated, for example, from a liqueur made by distilling an alcohol that has already fermented. Sweeten this liquor, add a little flavor and you have a liquor. For some reason the word ‘wine’ is often used instead of 酒 in 2 translations, despite the more restricted and specific meaning of the word in English.

Best Japanese Plum Wine

If you don’t want to drink whiskey, try a simple Umeshu Sour or Umeshu with soda or sparkling water. Another interesting option that I haven’t tried is umeshu ochawari (お 茶 割 り) – with green tea. Umeshu (梅酒) takes this word and puts it in front of the word alcohol or schnapps (酒). Unfortunately, the usual translations of both words lead to confusion. Regardless of whether it begins in Chinese or Japanese, the word 梅 is usually translated as “plum”.

Sake And Plum Wine

It is not in itself a terrible translation; the purple, yellow, and red plums, with which most English speakers are familiar, also belong to the genus Prunus. But prunus is a large genus that includes nectarines, peaches, almonds, cherries, and apricots. But ‘plum’ is a bad translation because it is much more related to apricot. This is important because ume fruits are extremely difficult to come by outside of Japan, but apricots are grown much more commonly. The botanical similarity between ume and apricot translates into a great culinary similarity, especially when it comes to the unripe green fruits that umeshu is made from. There are just 3 simple ingredients to make umeshu at home.

  • While it is possible, I personally don’t recommend using ripe ume to make umeshu.
  • Both Japanese and Korean grocery stores sell these plums during this season, so keep an eye out for these plums in May.
  • Umeshu is a traditional Japanese liqueur made from the ume fruit.

The second reason I don’t use plain vodka is because of its taste. Shochu is not a neutral mind; It is said to contain complex tasting notes that vary based on the base, distillation method, aging, etc. In that sense, shochu has more in common with sake than most modern purified vodkas. Fresh ume is quite uncommon outside of East and Southeast Asia, and green / unripe fruits are even rarer. If you have or know someone who does an ume tree, you may be able to get enough green fruit in early spring when the harvest clears up. Inside, but be careful not to look for ripe fruit or pickled ume.

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It looks like a much richer version of the rose and is a bright red hue. Plum wine combines a sweet and sour taste of plum aromas with a standard alcohol content of 12%. Its sweet taste awakens the olfactory senses, and as a child it is delicious. With its great varieties such as Choya, Takara and many others, there is a whole world of plum wine to discover. First of all, Japanese plums are mostly of a consistent quality and make a tastier plum wine.

Best Japanese Plum Wine

It has a complex aroma and its taste can be described as a cross between grapefruit and tangerine. Even with a slightly bitter undertone, this Umeshu makes a great impression. Plum wine or umeshu is a Japanese liqueur made by soaking fresh Japanese plums in shochu / white liquor and sugar. Bittersweet flavors with a fruity aroma are very attractive and you can use them to make many kinds of drinks!

Rating Source

There are more than 300 versions of umeshu on the Japanese market, often modified with a local delicacy such as yuzu, a yellow Japanese citrus fruit. Well, it’s fair to say that umeshu is generally not made with the highest quality or tastiest shochu. After all, you add a ton of sugar and fruit to it and the comparatively mild taste notes of the base liqueur are a bit overwhelmed. The vodka provides most of the alcohol while remaining tasteless, while the sake adds fruity and floral notes that complement the ume / apricots very well. Alcohol is an ancient part of human culture and there are great similarities in many recipes, preparations, and methods from around the world. But the word “wine” is used through translation in ways that do not always coincide with its endemic use in English.

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When it comes to irresistibly flavored drinks, Takara’s signature plum wine and plum sake are a delicacy not to be missed. With a sweet and aromatic taste and an authentic traditional Japanese touch, this fruity drink will be your new favorite. From production to where it was found, here’s everything you need to know about plum wine and plum sake. Traditionally, this Japanese liqueur was often called Umeshu in Asian culture. For sore throat relief, muscle soreness relief, and cold relief and many other types of illnesses.

You can drink it alone, with ice, or even mix it with soda. When it comes to choosing an alcoholic drink, ideally you want to use shochu. However, if you can’t find it, you can use a white liquor like unflavoured vodka. Although in the pictures in this post I used a Thai rice whiskey (Lao Khao or เหล้า ขาว) which is a distilled rice drink similar to Shochu. There are many brands of Thai rice whiskey out there, but most are easy to find and inexpensive – MUCH cheaper than vodka.

I encourage you to find stone sugar while you are spending your time making this drink. When we talk about plum wines, the quality of the plums plays a big role. Plums are naturally citrus with the perfect blend and sweet and sour flavor combination, and when this fruit is mixed into liqueur it gives it a rich wine taste. Kikkoman prides itself on making full-bodied plum wine that has been fermented in 100% plum juice. If you like your wine strong and sweet, the Umeshu has a fruity taste with an alcohol content of 12% to give the note. You can drink this wine with warm water in the winter months or even drink it fresh without diluting it too much.

Gekkeikan Plum Wine

You have to use tart, tart and firm green ume plums to make the syrup and not any other plums you see in the store. Both Japanese and Korean grocery stores sell these plums between early and mid-May. Japanese plum wine is a mixture of sweet and sour taste with a rich and aromatic taste.

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