Sake has been so representative as the famous Japanese rice wine so that other famous Japanese alcohol may not fall into people's mind. Beer is another popular category in Japan and Asahi has been our favorite brand for long. However, today, we are going to talk about another much small yet very popular type of alcohol from Japan, umeshu.
Umeshu (梅酒 plum wine) is a Japanese liqueur made of steeping ume fruits (the fruits of prunus mume) while they are still unripe and green and sugar immersed in alcohol for at least 6-12 months. Based on the plum flavor, umeshu usually comes out with a sweet and sour taste that can be good to wake up your appetite before eating main dishes. The alcohol content is about 10–15%, similar to red wine. The fruity taste and aroma make it very easy to drink, even for people who don't normally like alcohol.
Japanese restaurants in Japan serve many different varieties of umeshu in different temperature levels. While in the US, it is usually served with ice, umeshu can be enjoyed with green tea, warm or even hot water during winter in Japan. There are also a variety of way to make cocktail with umeshu. It can be mixed with tonic or soda, too.
If you can find ume in your area, why not try making your own umeshu? Simple recipe from Japanese Cooking 101