Umeshu or plum wine is one of my favourite Japanese drinks, it is thick and sweet, warms the cockles of your heart drunk neat in winter and is surprisingly refreshing when you add soda and ice for the summer. Right now is umeshu making season, I know this because all the supermarkets have a section dedicated to it and you can buy everything you need in one go and they even package everything in the right sized bag so you don't have to weigh or measure anything.
A large screw top jar around 5l
a bag of ume plums
a bag of rock sugar (500g)
a large carton of white liquor (2l)
at least 3 months worth of patience
Gently wash the ume and remove the brown bits from where the stem is attached with a tooth pick. Discard any bruised ume or ones with broken skin.
In your big jar place a layer of ume then a layer of rock sugar and repeat until you run out.
Make a prayer to the ume liquor gods, put on the lid and store in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months, longer is better if you can wait that long.
Come back here in October and if you are lucky I will show you the finished result!