Japanese plum wine, or umeshu, is a type of liqueur made from steeping un ripened plums in alcohol and sugar. It is a popular drink in Japan and has been gaining popularity in the West in recent years. If you are looking for something new to try, or are just curious about this unique drink, read on for everything you need to know about Japanese plum wine.
How is Plum Wine Made?
The process of making plum wine is actually quite simple. The most important ingredient, of course, is the plum itself. The plums used for plum wine are called umeboshi plums, and they are small, green, and sour. Once the plums are harvested, they are soaked in alcohol and sugar until the desired flavor is achieved. The longer the plums steep, the more flavorful the final product will be.
Plum wine can be made with just plums and alcohol, but many recipes also call for adding additional fruits or spices like cinnamon or cloves to give the wine a little extra depth of flavor. Other popular ingredients include green tea leaves, yuzu (a type of citrus fruit), and ginger.
Once the plum wine is finished steeping, it is strained and bottled. It can be enjoyed immediately or stored for future drinking. Umeshu will keep for several years if stored properly in a cool, dark place.
What Does Plum Wine Taste Like?
Plum wine has a unique taste that is difficult to describe. It is sour and sweet, with a floral aroma. The taste of the plum is definitely present, but it is mellowed out by the sweetness of the sugar and the boozy kick from the alcohol. Many people liken the taste of plum wine to that of a tart cherry or cranberry.
If you are interested in trying plum wine but are not sure if you will like it, start by trying a small glass before committing to a whole bottle. Many liquor stores also sell small bottles or even single serving sizes so you can sample it before buying a larger quantity.
Japanese plum wine is a delicious and refreshing drink that is perfect for summertime patio sipping or enjoying after dinner as an after-dinner digestif . If you have never tried it before, I would encourage you to seek out a bottle and give it a try. Trust me – you will be glad you did! Salud!