Mike and I finally opened the bottle of Umeshu we picked up at duty free coming home from Singapore – yay! Choya is one of the most famous brands of umeshu and we bought the Royal Honey version – with added royal jelly (secretion from honey bees) and sweetened with honey rather than sugar.
Umeshu is commonly known as Japanese “plum wine” or “plum liqueur”. It is made from steeping green, unripe ume fruits in alcohol and sugar/honey. Although widely referred to as plums, ume fruit is more closely related to the apricot. The alcohol used is Shōchū, typically distilled from barley, sweet potatoes or rice.
With a 15% alcohol content, umeshu is rich, distinctively fruity while being both sweet and sour. It can also be served a variety of ways at different temperatures (iced, room temperature, even hot). We enjoyed our drinks on the rocks, although it can be also mixed as cocktails or simply with tonic or soda. In a colder climate, it can even be mixed with green tea or water and enjoyed hot!