Umeshu is a famous Japanese liqueur made from ume fruits, a type of Japanese apricot. This sweet and sour beverage has a long history in Japan and is enjoyed by many as a dessert wine or a digestif.
Origins of Umeshu
The origins of Umeshu can be traced back to China, where a similar beverage called "wumei jiu" was produced by steeping wumei fruits in rice wine. The beverage made its way to Japan in the 8th century, and over time, the recipe was adapted to include native ume fruit instead.
To make Umeshu, ume fruits are soaked in shochu (a distilled liquor), brandy, or white liquor, along with sugar. The mixture is then left to steep for several months, allowing the flavours of the fruit to infuse into the alcohol. The longer the mixture is left to steep, the stronger the flavour of the Umeshu will be.
Traditionally, Umeshu is made at home, and each family has its own recipe and method. Some recipes call for the addition of honey, spices, or other fruits, such as strawberries or raspberries.
Umeshu can also be purchased commercially in Japan and is available in various strengths and sweetness levels. The beverage is often enjoyed chilled or on the rocks, but it can also be served warm or used as a cocktail mixer.
Health Benefits of Umeshu
Umeshu is not only delicious but also has several health benefits. Ume fruits are rich in citric acid, which can help improve digestion and relieve fatigue. The fruits also contain ume plum vinegar, which has antibacterial properties and can help prevent food poisoning.
Umeshu is also high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. Studies have shown that drinking Umeshu may help improve liver function and lower cholesterol levels.
Umeshu is a delicious and unique Japanese liqueur that has been enjoyed for centuries. Whether enjoyed as a dessert wine or a digestif, Umeshu is the ideal choice for those looking for a sweet and sour beverage with a rich cultural history. So, if you're looking to try something new, why not try Umeshu?