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Happy Hour: Japanese Plum Wine

While sake may be the most popular drink to pair with a Japanese meal, there is another option that is often on the menu. Umeshu, commonly known as "Japanese Plum Wine," is a Japanese liqueur made from ume (Japanese plums), sugar and shochu (or sake). The flavor is delicate and light, with an undertone of plum. It is usually very sweet and syrupy, and can be used as an aperetif, dessert wine, or as the base of a super delicious cocktail. Also, several brands (including Choya, which is one of the most popular) even come with the edible ume fruit inside. A bottle will set you back about $15.

Join The Conversation
Trinimerican Trinimerican 8 years
When I was in the USAF I had the pleasure of living in Okinawa and Mainland Japan for almost nine years. I am not a drinker, and I don't like the taste of Sake. It was our office tradition to have a Sake send-off (toast) when anyone was PCSing (moving) from our office -- I always drank water, Sprite or 7-Up so I didn't stand out. The only thing I liked to drink was Italian Moscato which is a sweet white wine, and is considered a girly wine. I however, love Japanese plum wine. Now I have a small Japanese glass at night to relax.
BethS BethS 9 years
My mom and I always order plum wine when we get chinese food. I don't normally like sweet wine, but I love just a glass with chinese food, it's a treat!
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
My bf's dad just traveled to Japan. He had both sake and plum wine. He said that the plum wine is the best drink he has ever had! And now I find it recommended on here! I am definitely going to get some. :)
kristine13 kristine13 9 years
The sushi place i go to has the best plum wine -- not too sweet, and it's excellent with fish and rice. I probably wouldn't have more than one glass in a night, though.
ashmelissa ashmelissa 9 years
I just tried this last night, I love it! It would be perfect drizzled over angel food cake and mixed summer fruits...and homemade whipped cream.
Rain-Moon Rain-Moon 9 years
Yuck!!! I had to try it, because it sounded so good and I was sorry that I did!!! I would rather drink Robitussin.
Pokemyhontas Pokemyhontas 10 years
Plum wine is way too sweet for me. My hubby likes it, though. I prefer sake.
Shudson Shudson 10 years
How long can you store open Sake? Is it like storing wine?
NdHebert NdHebert 10 years
That sounds great. I wonder if Central Market or Whole Foods would carry it.
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