How to enjoy umeshu

01 Jun 2018

Umeshu is a traditional Japanese liqueur made by steeping ume plums in alcohol and sugar. It is a popular drink due to it sweet and sour taste, and relatively low alcohol content which makes it easy to drink and can be enjoyed even by people who generally dislike alcohol.

Today we would like to introduce umeshu from manufacturer Nakano BC. It is made from high-quality ume plums from the southern Wakayama prefecture, which accounts 60% of Japan’s ume production. This umeshu starts with a sweet note which is later followed by a refreshing sourness. Its rich taste can be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed with soda or water.

There are many ways to drink umeshu and the food pairing depends on how you drink. We will discuss each of the ways and give you some snacks and food suggestions.

When drinking umeshu straight, the sweet and sour taste is highly concentrated, so it is best paired with food that has a strong flavor. Salty and spicy food is an especially great combination with umeshu when enjoyed straight. If you want to have a quick snack with a glass of umeshu, nuts, cheese and beef jerky are an excellent choice. If you feel like cooking a meal, then it is good to know that generally, umeshu goes better with Japanese or Chinese food, rather than Western food. Ebi chiri (shrimps in chili sauce), mapo tofu, or kakuni (braised pork belly) are great choices.

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If you like drinking umeshu on rocks, be careful with salty and spicy foods - since the amount of the liqueur is lower you might end up drinking too much. That is why when drinking umeshu on rocks, it is better to eat in small portions. Cheese, nuts, potato chips are great as a snack. Smoked cheese and umeshu especially complement each other. Choose a light meal, such as seasoned cabbage or mini sized korokke.

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In case of diluting umeshu with water, the flavor becomes milder and alcohol percentage decreases therefore it is not recommended to pair diluted umeshu with sharp flavored foods since these will overpower the taste of the drink. Light flavored food such as hiyayakko tofu, Caesar salad, or bon bon chicken makes a great match.

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Umeshu diluted with soda will have a very refreshing and clear taste so it is recommended to pair it with deep fried or stir-fried foods since it will tone down the feeling of oiliness in your mouth. Try it with more oily foods such as chips, fried cheese, or karaage.

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We hope you find your favorite way to enjoy umeshu and treat your taste buds with new flavors.

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