Know Umeshu

How long does umeshu need to be aged?

Once set aside to age, how many months does umeshu take to be ready?

The trendy Japanese plum wine, Umeshu, has been gaining loyalty among alcoholic beverage enthusiasts and casual drinkers globally. Made using three simple ingredients – unripe juicy ume plums, rock sugar, and white liquor, umeshu is one of the most refreshing alcoholic beverages one can relish. Umeshu has a delicious sweet-to-sour taste, a great fruity aroma, and is packed with ample nutritional benefits. 

One of the best things about umeshu is that you can easily make it at home. All you need is the unripe plums, sugar, and white liquor. Once you mix the ingredients without damageing the plums in the process, you need to set it aside to age. The time for ageing would significantly depend on the type of alcohol you are using to make umeshu and your personal preference. 

Ideally, when white liquor with 35-40% alcohol content like shochu is used, umeshu is ready to consume in about six months. Some people prefer a more raw flavor, in which case umeshu is kept for only three months to age. However, at least six to twelve months of ageing is highly recommended for umeshu. Even if you use another white liquor like vodka, six to twelve months would be considered ideal for ageing the umeshu. If you use a strong, deep liquor, like brandy, then umeshu can be ready to consume in about three months. 

What happens if you age umeshu for longer than twelve months?

The ageing of umeshu is an important step in making umeshu and it is the one that plays an integral role in developing the flavor of the plum wine. While six to twelve months is the standard recommended time for the ageing of umeshu, some people prefer ageing their umeshu for considerably longer, which is, even more than two years. Ageing the umeshu for long periods gives it a richer, deeper flavor. If you plan to age the umeshu for longer, make sure you check the plums regularly to ensure that there is no spoilage or undesirable microbial activity. The possibilities of spoilage are slim if umeshu is preserved in a sterile well-sealed container, though one still needs to keep an eye on things. You can take the plums out from the umeshu at about twelve to eighteen months. These plums are pickled well by then and would be delicious to consume on their own. 

So, six to twelve months is the recommended time for ageing umeshu though you can make variations to this based on your taste and preference. 

About Umeshu Lovers

Made with the finest ume plums from Japan, Umeshu is an apéritif with a sweet-sour flavour.  

Known commonly as “Japanese Plum Wine”, Umeshu is among the most well-known alcoholic beverages in Japan and is slowly gaining popularity worldwide.  

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