Umeshu, often referred to as Japanese plum wine, is actually a unique and delicious traditional Japanese liqueur produced by steeping green ume plums in Shochu and sweetening with sugar. The result is a fresh, fruity, sweet and tangy liqueur that is mouth-watering, sweet and very more-ish. Like Sake, Umeshu can come in various styles, including Nigori (cloudy and unfiltered), Genshu (undiluted, meaning no water added), Sparkling and Koshu (aged).
Some Umeshus will also be mixed with other fruits, such as apples, pears and yuzu, for added flavour and complexity. Umeshu can be aged for long periods of time and some even say they will get better with age; there is no expiration date for a bottle of Umeshu. As for the best serve? We say chilled with ice as an aperitif or cut with a dash of tonic for a refreshing long drink. Fun fact, the ume plums used to make Umeshu are quite bitter and are poisonous if eaten raw, but once fermented they become safe to eat (and delicious) for an added bonus treat!