Ume Shu is a wonderful fruit wine very popular in Japan and Korea. It is gaining popularity in the Western world and can even be said to be “trendy” with people in the “know”. If you are looking for an aperitif to go with your Japanese-style meal, an ume shu would be a great choice.
Umeshu is basically a liqueur made with plums. It has been consumed over 1,000 years in the far East. Umeshu is made by soaking unripe ume plums in shochu (alcohol content of about 35%) and sugar. The end result can remain high alcohol but it is often diluted to an alcohol range of about 12%. Ume plums contain potassium and calcium, so umeshu is said to be good for health. So drink it for the great smooth taste and to your health!
This simple recipe will get you on your way to making great umeshu.
* 1 kg green ume (Japanese plums)
* 1 kg rock sugar
* 1.8 liters white liquor (35% alcohol)
Sterilise a 4 liter glass jar by filling it with boiling water, rinsing and drying carefully. Wash the plums, culling any fruit with bruises or broken skins. Dry the plums and remove the waxy bit in the stem end. Dry the fruit again. Layer plum and sugar in the jar, pour in the liquor. Seal tightly. Open the jar once a month until the sugar is completely dissolved. The umeshu is drinkable after 6 months, and fully mature at the end of a year.
For people that want to see this process in action, this video is well done and explains everything:
Have fun with it and Happy Winemaking!