Japanese Plum Wine / Umeshu

September 5, 2019 (Last Updated: March 3, 2020)

two glasses of umeshu or Japanese plum wine

When I was shopping earlier this week, I found some green plums (55 baht a kg) and immediately thought about making umeshu or Japanese plum wine. This drink has been popular among Thai people for quite some time. I’d never really understood what the craze was all about until I finally opened my first bottle of CHOYA Umeshu. Since then I’ve been making the drink most times the plums are in season. Boy, you miss a little, you miss a lot!

two glasses of umeshu or Japanese plum wine

While umeshu is generally referred to as Japanese plum wine in English, I would say it doesn’t taste like wine at all. It’s got a bit of tartness in it from the plums, but overall it’s on the sweeter side of things. That doesn’t mean it’s not good though. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this post, right? 🙂

two glasses of umeshu or Japanese plum wine

Making this Japanese plum wine is a piece of cake. You don’t need to have a lot of skills, just three ingredients, which are green plums, rock sugar, and sochu. Oh, a large glass jar with a lid that can be closed tightly as well. And some patience…because this drink takes six months to be ready. In fact, some people say it tastes even better if you open it after a year!

I guess the old saying is still true…Good things take time.

two glasses of umeshu or Japanese plum wine

Now, when it comes to the alcohol, ideally, you want to use sochu (a Japanese distilled beverage). However, if you can’t find it, you can use a flavorless vodka. I’ve tried making umeshu with vodka before and it was great. Whatever you choose, make sure your that it’s 35% alcohol.

a jar of umeshu or Japanese plum wine

I know you probably don’t need me to tell you this, but this drink is so great for parties! New Year’s, birthday, housewarming – you name it! It’s good for all! And the best part is: the plums don’t just make this drink look good in glasses, but you can also eat them! If you know anyone who likes this drink, you might want to make it and give it to them as a gift when it’s ready. They’re going to LOVE it!


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Japanese Plum Wine (Umeshu) Recipe

two glasses of umeshu or Japanese plum wine

A delicious and really easy to make homemade plum wine requiring only three ingredients!

  • Author: Cooking with Nart
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1.8 liters 1x
  • Category: Drinks


  • 1 kilogram green plums
  • 500 grams rock sugar
  • 1.8 liters shochu (or a flavorless vodka)


  1. Rinse the plums and soak in clean water for 2 hours.
  2. Thoroughly dry the plums and pick out the stems with a toothpick.
  3. In the jar, place a layer of plums, then a layer of rock sugar. Repeat until all the plums and sugar are used. You can use more than one jar, but make the sugar is half the weight of the plums.Japanese Plum Wine/Umeshu
  4. Pour the alcohol into the jar. You want the liquid to be a little bit over the plums. white liquor being poured into a jar with green plums and rock sugar in it
  5. Close the lid tightly and store the jar in a cool and dark place for at least 6 months. Japanese Plum Wine/Umeshu

Keywords: Japanese plum wine, umeshu, homemade wine, green plums, homemade liquor

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  • Reply
    May 2, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    This really answered my problem, thank you!

  • Reply
    June 2, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Looks realy great! Thanks for the post.

  • Reply
    Ai | Ai made it for you
    August 13, 2019 at 11:01 am

    My late grandmother used to make her own umeshu! Yummm!!

    • Reply
      August 14, 2019 at 10:21 pm

      Yassss! hehe 🙂

  • Reply
    September 12, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Hmmm, I’ve never heard of this but willing to try it! Looks tasty! Thanks😋

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      You’re welcome!

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