Soon will be the time of the year when the Japanese plums are ripening. This means it’s the right moment to start this year’s Umeshu (梅酒) or plum wine, a great favorite of mine.
Since we were assured that making it is easy, and since the supermarket next door sells everything necessary for it together, we have given it a try.
The ingredients are: unripe plums, shochu (i.e. alcohol), and rock sugar. The glass jar in which to keep the umeshu to be is sold alongside these things. The preparation is easy.
- Wash the plums and take off the end of the stem.
- Dry them one by one.
- Put the ume into the glass jar and fill the gaps in between with rock sugar.
- Pour alcohol on top, such that all the plums are completely covered.
- Close the lid well and let it sit in a dark, cool place for at least 3 months (it’s said to be best after one year).
We went through steps 1-4, but step 5 still awaits completion. This also means that we can only report about the success of this experiment in a few months’ time……
Update (May 2010):
I guess some might be curious about the outcome of the experiment. We opened the plum wine about two months ago. It is delicious and looks like this:
We’ll definitely do it again this year!