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Japanese Food
Umeshu
Umeshu (梅酒, Umeshu) - A Japanese liqueur made from steeping ume fruits (while still unripe & green) in alcohol (焼酎, shōchū) (or sake) and sugar. It has a sweet, sour taste, and an alcohol content of 10-15%. The taste and aroma of umeshu can appeal to even those people who normally dislike alcohol. Famous brands of umeshu include Choya and TaKaRa Shuzo.

Ume liquor is popular in both Japan and Korea. A similar liquor in Korea, called maesilju, is marketed under various brand names including Mae Hwa Su, Mae Chui Soon, and Seol Joong Mae. Both the Japanese and Korean varieties of ume liquor are available with whole ume fruits contained in the bottle.

Japanese restaurants serve many different varieties of umeshu and also make cocktails. Umeshu on the Rocks (pronounced rokku), Umeshu Sour (pronounced Umeshu Sawa), Umeshu Tonic (with 2/3 tonic water) and Umeshu Soda (with 2/3 carbonated water) are popular favorites. A popular choice for young, happening things, is to mix a bit of tradition into it, by mixing it with Green tea (o-cha).

There exists a non-alcoholic variant, made with sugar, and called Ume-jūsu (梅ジュース, Ume-jūsu?). Many people also make their own umeshu at home.

Umeshu recipe

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 ume, culling any fruit with bruises or broken skins. Dry the ume and remove the waxy bit in the stem end. Dry the fruit again. Layer ume and sugar in the jar, pour in the liquor. Seal tightly. Upend 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.

Information source: “Umeshu.” wikipedia.org. Article date: 23 Jan. 2008. Retrieved: Wikipedia. 2 Feb. 2008 <Umeshu>.

Video - The following shows how to make umeshu.
 
 

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