Umeshu is a very popular Japanese plum wine. It is available to us from last thousands of years. It is usually made up of ume which is a Japanese fruit, alcohol and sugar.
There are mainly two very large industrial manufacturers of Umeshu. There are above three hundred private labels which provide a large variety of various kinds of Umeshu.
Making Umeshu at home is also extremely popular in Japan. In Japan, there are several supermarkets which offer you ready-made or handy kits in May or June at the harvesting season of ume-apricot.
Making of Umeshu
Making of Umeshu is generally based on the following four alcohols:
â€¢Â Umeshu which is based on rice-wine or Sake: Sake is a drink of Japanese alcohol which is usually made by brewing rice along with water. It can be dry, sour or even very flowery depending upon the smash which is used mainly for the fermentation. Making Umeshu based on rice-wine or Sake is extremely popular and so it can easily determine the main character of this popular drink or Umeshu.
â€¢Â Umeshu which is based on Shochu: Shochu is also a drink of Japanese alcohol which is usually in the course of distillation. Shochu is a drink which is usually made up of rice, wheat and even sweet potato.
It is sometimes made with another ingredient like sweet chestnut. However, almost all the rice shochu have very neutral fragrance while the shochu which is made up of wheat or sweet potato usually has a different taste.
â€¢Â Umeshu which is based on brandy: A little amount of brandy is included in several sweet as well as heavy Umeshu for flavor. Although, they never exceed the limit of 14% alcohol which is quite high as compared to the red wine.
â€¢Â Umeshu which is based on liqueur: White liqueur is known to be the industrial alcohol with its neutral flavor. There are so many breweries which use white liqueur for Umeshu and add some additional flavors like green-tea or even shiso-mint.
Another most vital ingredient in making of Umeshu is the ume-apricot. There are several kinds of ume-apricot. Shirakaga Ume is known to be the best one because of its big size and also because of its capability to transfer its flavor to the alcohol in order to produce Umeshu.