Wednesday 22 June 2011

making umeshu

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.

You need:
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.

When you have made your layers pour in the liquor.

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!


  1. That's awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. I love umeshu, but here in the US I've only seen the commercial ones. My in-laws always make them, and every time I've been to Japan to visit we have some. Now I want to see if I can find ume plums to try and make our own. I think it would make my husband so happy.

  2. I love this and discovered it while living in Japan. Yummm!


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