Plum Crazy

The title of this entry is derived from these two recent events:

Firstly, a little over two weeks ago, I consumed about a litre of umeshu, AKA plum wine (teamed with Mint Baileys, mind) in a 4 hour period at a house party. This resulted in a 12 hour hangover unlike anything I have experienced in many, many years.

Secondly, despite said hangover and the very painful day I spent in bed telling myself I was never going to drink alcohol ever again (don’t judge me, we have all been there), the very next weekend I found myself brewing my own umeshu…

Plum crazy, right?!

Apparently a rite of passage here, the brewing of umeshu is a task undertaken by many foreigners during their stay in Japan. I suspect the activity’s popularity stems from the fact it so incredibly cheap and easy to carry out. Just 3 ingredients and less than 5,000 yen is all it took to get the job done. And this is the five part process, for those of you playing at home:

1. Prepare the 5L jar by sterilizing with boiling water. Allow to dry completely in the sun.

2. Remove stems and wash plums (removing all damaged, over ripe ones).

3. Allow plums to dry completely, then place in bottom of jar.

4. Cover plums with rock sugar.

5. Fill jar with white liquor (35%).

6. Seal jar and store in a dark, cool, dry place.

Now I just have to wait a year for it to transform into the deliciously sweet beverage I have come to love. Well, at least I did love it until a few weeks ago. Patience isn’t my strongest virtue, but something tells me I’ll be able to resist the temptation to open the jar for 12 months…and hopefully by then I’ll actually be able to enjoy this concoction brewing in the back of my closet…

2 thoughts on “Plum Crazy

  1. See, that's the difference between us. I never told myself I'd never drink again – just that I'd never get smashed again.

    A whole year seems like quite the wait on it though.

    Tomorrow my sister and I will be partaking in a similar foreigner rite of passage. We're going to be making our own sushi. My sister got a whole bunch of books from the library (catering to Western tastes of course – you can't win all fights) and then we bought a whole bunch of materials today.

    I was happy to know I could still read my hiragana and katakana. Hopefully, we too will have success with the making portion.


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