Umeshu – Plum wine

Have you tried plum wine? It is called umeshu in Japanese. It’s sweet and sour and I love drinking it with a rock of ice or with sparkling water. The plums you need to use to make umeshu are fresh and raw green. Someone was asking what this fruit is on one of my favorite Facebook groups, the Okinawa Farmers Market page. Well, these green plums are a little too hard to eat as they are but this is how you can turn them into delicious homemade plum wine.

 Naoko Ogura-Gayler




• 1 kg green raw plums (about 2 pounds) *

• 10 to 17 oz rock sugar

• 7 to 8 cups alcohol** 

• Big glass bottle or jar

*The bag of plums in the picture is about 1 kg (2 pounds).

**You can find a paper carton with the words ホワイトリカー (‘white liquor’ in Japanese letters) written on it at supermarkets to make umeshu or other homemade wine. You can also use awamori or other strong alcohol (but I prefer using white liquor or awamori). Ideally, the percentage of alcohol should be over 35%.



1. Wash the glass bottle or jar thoroughly. Make sure the bottle is clean and dry when you use it.

2. Wash the plums gently with water. Once you’ve cleaned the plums, put them in a sieve and dry them with a clean cloth or leave them until they become dry.

Plum stems are easy to pluck out with a toothpick.

3. Take out the plum stems using a toothpick.

4. Gently place half of the plums on the bottom of the bottle or jar and place half of the sugar on top of them. Place the remaining plums and rock sugar making layers.

5. Gently pour the alcohol into the bottle and keep the bottle in a cool place where the temperature remains constant. You can start enjoying your homemade plum wine after three months.



Coming up!

Introducing Japanese Cooking course starting Tuesday June 16th – ¥18,000

Also individual classes are available – ¥5,000 per class

Local supermarket tour and gyoza class Tuesday June 16th

Japanese soba (buckwheat noodles) class Tuesday June 23th

Tempura, miso soup and steamed mixed rice class Tuesday June 30th

Japanese style curry class Tuesday July 7th



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21:15 25 Jul , 2024