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Some companies also add royal jelly to honey flavoured umeshu, which not only increases the level of sweetness but has added benefits such as lowering blood pressure and regulating our immune systems.
It should be fairly easy to spot whether a bottle physically contains pieces of fruit but just in case you want to check if real ume was used in the production, look for the phrase 本格梅酒 (honkaku umeshu) on the Japanese ingredients part of the label. Wines without this phrase on their packaging, however, will have used flavourings and additives to mimic the taste of ume instead.
Whilst the percentage of alcohol in umeshu is typically around 10-15%, it can vary in strength depending on the brand. Some plum wines are as low as 5%, whereas others will contain up to 20%. It’s therefore important to check the labels of different brands, to ensure that you find one with the right level of alcohol for you.
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1. Choya Umeshu Mini Multipack
Miniatures That Are Perfect for Trying out New Flavours
2. Takara Plum Wine
Smooth and Not Too Sweet
3. Nakatashokuhin Kishu Miyabi Umeshu
Strong and Fruity, With a Hint of Almond
4. Kishu Monogatari Plum Wine
Made With Top Quality Ume From the Wakayama Prefecture
5. Akashi-Tai Shiraume Umeshu
A Plum Liqueur With a Sake Twist
6. Nakata Plum White Umeshu
Ripe Fruit Gives This Umeshu a Lighter Flavour
7. Choya Royal Honey Umeshu
Naturally Sweet and Full of Flavour
8. Kagura Shuzo Takachiho Plum Wine Umeshu
Delicate and Beautifully Designed
9. Hakutsuru Plum Wine
An Affordable Introduction to Umeshu
10. Ozeki Kanjuku Umeshu
Ideal for the Umeshu Connoisseur
The alcohol added to the fruit is usually brandy or shochu (a Japanese white liquor), although some brands may use vodka, gin, or white rum. The type of alcohol used during the process can therefore determine whether the flavour of an umeshu product is delicate or has a bit of a kick to it!
If you like a milder tasting beverage, why not try blending umeshu with chilled water (in the warmer months) or hot water (in the winter)? These methods of preparation are popular in Japan, as is mixing umeshu with soda water for a lightly sparkling drink.
Lastly, umeshu can be used to jazz up your favourite cocktails. Add to mint leaves, club soda, and ice for a tasty mojito, or combine with white curacao, mint, ice and salt to make a refreshing frozen margarita. These recipes are ideal if you’re hosting a party or want to impress your friends!
Are you bored of drinking your usual beer from the supermarket, or are you a creature of habit trying to break out? Whatever the reason, we have some great drinks for you to try! If you're looking for a weekend treat or dinnertime tipple we have something especially for you. Take a look at our other articles for our other top recommendations.
Author: Nicola McClements
No. 1: Choya ｜1. Choya Umeshu Mini Multipack
No. 2: Takara ｜2. Takara Plum Wine
No. 3: Nakatashokuhin ｜3. Nakatashokuhin Kishu Miyabi Umeshu
No. 4: Kishu Monogatari ｜4. Kishu Monogatari Plum Wine
No. 5: Akashi-Tai ｜5. Akashi-Tai Shiraume Umeshu
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