Everything You Need to Know About Umeshu

What is Umeshu

Umeshu 梅酒, also known as Plum Liqueur, is a Japanese liqueur made with ume plums steeped in liqueur and sugar. It's a tangy and sweet liqueur with an alcohol content of about 10-15%, depending on the brewery. It became a popular drink in Japan sometime around the 17th century. Its delicate taste made it increasingly popular with young women.

Did you know that aside from being delicious, this liqueur is also said to have some health benefits to it such as improving circulation and exhaustion?

Types of Umeshu

Variety of umeshu | Sake INN

Umeshu can come in many types like nigori (meaning unfiltered), genshu (undiluted), sparkling, and koshu (aged). For Nigori umeshu, the liqueur would contain pulp from the ume plums that were used in the brewing process. This 'cloudiness' gives an additional depth and mellowness. Try: Ozeki Nigori Umeshu

In addition to the usual umeshu that you may know and love, do not forget that this versatile alcohol pairs well with other fruity flavours to give you a wider flavour profile to try. Our Ozeki Momo Umeshu (Hyogo) uses Hakuou Momo which is known as the king of peaches as well as one of the highest quality of ume, Nanko-Bai. This well-balanced sweetness and acidity have made this one of our best sellers.

For drinkers who prefer something slightly sweeter, you can try Daishinshu Mizore Ringo Umeshu (Nagano) which is umeshu mixed with apple. This interesting and rare combination of ripe apples and plum leaves drinkers with a sweet aftertaste after a few sips. Excellent as an after-meal dessert drink. 

If you don't know, shiso leaves are also used in umeshu brewing. Godo Tan-Taka-Tan Shiso Plum Wine (Shizuoka) carries a wonderful scent and soft flavour of shiso leaves. The red shiso leaves give the drink a natural and unique red colouring. This aromatic sensation is best served chilled. 

Last but not least, one of a more known umeshu combination would be with yuzu. By trying Kyohime Kanjuku Yuzu Ume Liqueur (Kyoto) it is not difficult to see why. When ripe yuzu fruits are mixed with plum liqueur, it results in a refreshing drink with a light, fruity aroma of both yuzu and plums. This combination goes so well together that it is a must-try for all umeshu lovers.

Ways to drink Umeshu

This undeniably well-loved drink can be attributed to its versatility. There are many ways to drink and savour your favourite umeshu.

  • Straight: the sweet and tangy flavour of the umeshu would not be diluted by ice.
  • On the rocks: add ice according to your preference (large rocks or crushed ice) for a refreshing version of this well-loved drink. 
  • With water/soda: perfect for those who want a lighter drink.
  • Cocktails: a popular cocktail ingredient too. Let us show you a few recipes you can make at home with your favourite umeshu.


    Sake Inn | Umeshu cocktail recipes

    Umeshu is great as a cocktail ingredient thanks to the refreshing citric acid flavours alongside with the tartness of ume plums. Here are two simple recipes for you to try at home!

    Umeshu Mojito

    • 45ml of umeshu
    • mint leaves according to taste
    • 2 tsp of brown sugar
    • lime 
    • soda
    • Ice

    1. Muddle mint leaves, brown sugar and lime in a mixer
    2. Add in umeshu of your choice and an appropriate amount of soda
    3. Pour over a glass of ice and enjoy

    Umeshu Yuzu Fizz

    1. Mix Yuzu Umeshu and soda in a tumblr
    2. Pour in a glass of ice (optional)
    3. Add a slice of lemon to garnish
    4. Enjoy the refreshing drink

    It is undeniable how umeshu is so versatile and easy to drink. No wonder it is a well-loved Japanese liqueur. Let us know how do you like to drink this delicious liqueur. Kanapi!

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