Umeshu : Japanese Plum Wine (liqueur)

umeshu plum wine

Introduction: The Appeal of Umeshu

Discover the fascination and history of Umeshu, Japan’s signature traditional fruit liqueur. This sweet and aromatic liqueur is made from Japanese plums, sugar and sake, and its origins date back hundreds of years. Umeshu has long fascinated people with its unique sweetness and refreshing flavor. Umeshu holds a special place in Japanese culture and is enjoyed on many occasions, from relaxing at home to getting together with friends.

I chose this topic simply because I love plum wine. I was fascinated by its deep flavor and the fun of making umeshu at home. The process of making your own plum wine is another pleasure, and the joy when it is finished is extraordinary. There is nothing more wonderful than being able to enjoy your own special taste when drinking homemade plum wine. Through this article, I hope that more people will experience the deep appeal of ume-shu and learn how to enjoy it.

Umeshu Production Process: The Delicate Flavor Behind the Delicate Flavor

ume japanese plum

The making of umeshu (plum wine) holds a special place in traditional Japanese beverage culture. In this section, we will take a closer look at the process of making ume (plum) wine. The main ingredients of ume (plum) liquor are green plums, sugar, and sake (usually seishu or shochu). The combination of these ingredients produces plum wine with a unique flavor and aroma.

Ingredient Preparation:

The first step in making plum wine is selecting the green plums. The plums are harvested before they are fully ripe and thoroughly washed. Next, the thick ends of the plums are removed.

Sugar is added:

After the prunes are placed in clean jars, sugar is added. The amount of sugar is adjusted according to the desired sweetness. The sugar helps to reduce the natural acidity of the plums and also speeds up the fermentation process.

Sake infusion:

Sake or shochu is poured over the layer of plums and sugar. The sake dissolves the sugar and draws out the flavor of the plums.

Sealing and storage:

The bottles are tightly sealed and stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight. This fermentation period usually lasts from several months to a year.

Aging of Umeshu:

Over time, Umeshu develops its unique flavor. During the fermentation process, the components naturally extracted from the plum pulp impart a rich flavor to the plum wine.

Plum removal and filtration: Once the plums are mature, they are removed from the bottle and the liquid is filtered. Once a clear plum wine is obtained, it can be bottled and further aged.

Through this production process, each household or manufacturer produces its own unique flavor of plum wine. The fun of making it at home is the ability to customize it to your own tastes through this process. Creating your own special plum wine makes the taste even more exceptional.

Can be done with vodka or brandy

Incidentally, the author has also made plum wine with spiritus. It is currently maturing.

Detail…how to make Umeshu

How to enjoy Umeshu: Versatile Drinking and Pairing

umeshu plum wine rocks

With its smooth sweetness and fruity flavor, umeshu can be enjoyed and paired with food in a variety of ways. Here are some tips on how to enjoy umeshu.

Drinking Variations


The best way to enjoy the true flavor of plum wine is to drink it straight. Drink it chilled for a fresher taste.

On the rocks:

Add ice to cut the sweetness of the plum liqueur and make it easier to drink.


Add soda water to Plum Liqueur for a refreshing cocktail. Perfect for a cool summer drink.

Hot Umeshu:

During the cold season, warm Umeshu is a great way to warm up. The aroma is enhanced and the relaxing effect can be expected.

Recommended drinking temperatures

When drunk chilled, about 10°C is ideal. Refrigerate until well chilled before serving.
If you want to drink it warm, the best temperature is about 40°C (104°F). Warming over a hot water bath rather than directly over a flame will not destroy the flavor.

Pairing with food and snacks


Pairing with Japanese food:

Ume-shu pairs well with Japanese food. In particular, the sweetness of umeshu is enhanced when paired with dishes that bring out the flavors of the ingredients, such as tempura and sashimi.

Cheese pairing:

Creamy cheese and plum wine go surprisingly well together. The sweet-sour flavor of plum wine enhances the richness of the cheese.

Dessert pairing:

Fruity plum wine is also wonderful with vanilla ice cream or crème brûlée.
Use these tips to explore the many ways to enjoy plum wine. Finding your favorite drinking style and food pairings will enhance the appeal of plum wine.

Summary: Umeshu, Japan’s Fascinating Gift

In this article, we have explored the world of umeshu, learning about its rich history, delicate production process, and many ways to enjoy it. More than just a drink, umeshu is part of Japanese culture and tradition, and its sweet and delicate flavor has always fascinated many people.

From how to make homemade plum wine to the various ways to drink it and combine it with food, plum wine adds rich color to our daily lives with its versatility. From a cup of plum wine to add color to gatherings with friends and family to a blissful evening alone, plum wine fits perfectly into any moment.

Finally, plum wine is fun to make yourself, allowing you to pursue your own original taste. We hope this article has sparked your interest in plum wine and inspired you to explore new ways of tasting and enjoying it. We hope you will continue to discover and enjoy the traditional Japanese beverage called ume-shu.

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