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I like ume wine, but I find it too sweet and syrupy for everyday consumption. I like 1 part of it with 1 part soda water over ice. Refreshing!


yum, with carbonated water and ice :)

Ms J

Hi Amy!!

Thanks for posting this... I may have a go at making my own ume wine in the next week or so! Having said that, I have some ume left over from a jar that my MIL gave me last year. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do with the leftover ume?




I'm going to have to give umeshu a try too! I made umeboshi a couple of years ago - they turned out slightly too salty but otherwise were great, and not too fussy to make.
Thanks for the inspiration!
p.s I totally agree with you on the translation issue. Anyone who calls an ume a plum has obviously never seen a ripe one.

jo 戎嶋

ohh thank you, I hope the super still has a good stock of stuff in,I have been wanting to try this for years.

Thomas (nihonhacks.com)

Great article! Thanks a lot. Do you know if it's allowed to take home-made umeshu with you on a plane? I think it would make a cool gift for people back home.


I found this via Japan Soc. Wow! Thanks for the tutorial. I'll have to give this a go. By the way, do you think that you could use honey alongside sugar and swap out the ume for non-ume apricots (あんず)? (The kind used for 杏露酒, in particular?) I'd love to duplicate that liqueur too...


wow, garlic liquor! i wonder if i could use american apricots for this...my tree is going crazy right now and i love umeshu. however, they might be too ripe already.


When I was younger I would just pop those rock sugar clumps into my mouth and enjoy them as I would candy. This looks really good, I've got to try it sometime! I like how convenient it is to get cartons of liqueur.


Awwwwwww... Ume is actually an apricot? (heard it translated as plum for years) But I'm a little sad now, I love umeboshi, but since I moved away from the city, into the middle of rural America, I can't find 'specialty' items like that anymore. I was hoping to make some umeboshi with some small plums my in-laws had produced, but now I'm not sure.


oh, this is gorgeous amy!! i have been wondering (for a couple of weeks, now) whether or not i should make some umeshu. i made some a few years ago and have been recently enjoying it (no longer pregnant, yay!) so, i did!! it should be great by next june. thanks!


Thanks for the recipe and explanation. I'm drying my ume right now. Kind of expensive to make though, about 2500 yen for the ingredients, not including the jar.


I'll be scouring my local Japanese supermarkets for ume! I love umeshu and it'd be amazing to make my own. Recently I went to a shop in London that sells wagashi and bought a umeshu jelly, which I've yet to try!

And also, just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and that I'm passing on the Arte y Pico award to you :)


Crunch REx

Wow..!!! this is awesome..!! I've always liked ume :)


Right, Amy! Umeshu is umeshu and Okonomiyaki is no way Japanese pizza!

Amy, are there any Japanese words or phrases that you find difficult to translate in English?


A most enjoyable tutorial on homemade umeshu! Have learnt a lot just by reading! Thanks for such detailed effort!


Thanks for the comments!

Ms J, other than the ideas mentioned in the post I really don't know. I usually just have to throw them away, which I know is a waste. I think I will try jam next time--a student just gave me some ume jam (made with fresh ume though) and it's delicious.

Skye, umeboshi? Much respect!

Thomas, as long as you packaged it nicely and kept within the allowed alcohol limit I don't think it would be a problem.

Deas, absolutely on both accounts and I should have mentioned that, so I've just updated the post. Thanks!

Allison, you could do it, but you'd end up with apricot liqueur. Not umeshu but definitely delicious.

Alexis, I don't think it would work, sadly. But I wonder if you can buy fresh ume on the internet...

Illahee, I hope yours turns out great!

Brian, it will work out to be cheaper than if you bought the umeshu premade, and much tastier. But 2500 yen sounds a bit pricey--I guess you bought good Wakayama ume?

Wow, thanks Charmaine!!

TA, that's a great question and now that I think about it there are a ton. Actually umeboshi is one, and I tend to call it "pickled plum", which is so wrong but a more accurate name would be cumbersome. Matcha is another: I hate when it's called "green tea" because that's what regular Japanese tea is called and it's not the same thing. I also hate "powdered green tea" because it sounds like you are consuming it as a powder. And why does the form it comes in need to be part of the name? I mean, you don't go around saying "I drank some ground coffee", do you? I wish people would just call it "matcha" or "matcha tea".

Hmm, I'm going to have to do a post on this subject...


I'm really looking forward to the post, and it doesn't have to be about the food; it can be about almost anything you've found difficult to put into English.

Nick Vroman

Hello Blue Lotus,

I've been a bit of a fan of your blog. Today (a bit late I know), I found some nice ume at a little yasaiya in Shimotakaido, dutifully followed your recipe and am looking forward to next year when the umeshu will be ready. Thanks! Kampai!


This is just what I was looking for; thanks for the detailed post. Hopefully my local Japanese supermarket will come through on the ingredients...I have three different recipes for cherry liqueur steeping now.


Ive used Green to semiripe Apricots (Prunus armeniaca), Unknown Australian cultivars
and made delicious Umeshu
with White Cane sugar
and Red shiso

it was indistinguishable from Umeshu i brought home from Japan


Have you ever made momoshu? I've never drunk it before but I am curious after reading your post, especially since it is too late to buy the right kind of ume.
I found a recipe here.


Oh wow this is an amazing idea! I will be coming to Japan within the next week for the JET Program, so I am going to have to give lots of different kinds of combinations a try! (The strawberry one looks extra divine, mmmm yum!)

To be honest I never knew that ume was apricot, and I have studied Japanese for 4 years! Thanks for the information, and I am glad that I know that now.

Really great info! Now I have a fun idea for my days off!


Noticed your Strawberry liqour recipe.

Here's on for strwaberry wine



Hi! Your blog is great! I luv all the Japanese food & drink recipes and I have already made some Takoraisu! ^_^

A small question about the Umes... It is impossible to find unriped Umes in Sweden... I found some riped... Can I use it for Umeshu?

Thanks and have a nice day.



Thanks for the tips and I hope all of your umeshu turns out great!

Kirsten, I've never made momoshu. Partly because peaches are so expensive here, and partly because Japanese peaches have too little fragrance and are too delicately flavoured. I figure that would be a better one to do back home.

Vilda-Hilda, it certainly is possible. Green ume are preferred for their tartness and fragrance, but some people do use ripe ume and the result is a sweeter, mellower umeshu.


Wow this is great! I usually make quince brandy and drink it all by myself :P
It's the only way I'll drink brandy actually.
When we move to Japan soon, I'll keep my eyes open for the green ume and try umeshu.
Oh, I've seen ume translated as 'plum' too...


In a cupboard, we found concoctions our mom (who had passed 8 years ago) had made. There was jug (dated May 1983) of umeshu and jars of liquor with ume still in them. Don't know how old the ume are. We tasted the 26 year old umeshu.....was not to our liking. Did not yet open up the jars with ume...

Do you have any experience with "really old" umeshu? Any suggestions?

Alcoholic cocktail recipes

Good recipes for the drinks!!! thanks

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