Homemade Ume Shu (Plum Liqueur)


Sorry for the long lapse in posts, things have been crazy here recently! Not only did a take a long (and well deserved) vacation to Montréal (more  on that later), but I recently got engaged! If you care to see all of my wedding-related inspiration, you can hop on over to my “Wedding Ponderings” board on Pinterest.

The perfect drink for a celebration, and for the summer is ume shu (梅酒). Translated as plum wine or plum liqueur, this drink can be served on its own as a cordial, on the rocks, or used more like a syrup and mixed with soda water. Ume shu is one of my favorite drinks because it reminds me of my time spent in Japan as a student, and later a teacher. It was the prefect drink to cool off with during the hot, muggy summers at the end of a long day. Even the cheap ume shu in Japan seemed to taste better than whatever I could find here, so I would always stock up when I was there. Now that I know I can make my own for less than the baggage overage-fees, I’ll be on the lookout for ume in the store constantly.

7898_10100987043368986_2069828772_n If you can find ume (green plums) in your local supermarket, it’s not that hard to make your own ume shu–all you need is soju/shochu, rock sugar, and ume plums. The hardest thing is waiting 3 months for your concoction to be ready!

If you want to buy plum wine, it’s pretty affordable and readily available in stores. My favorite is Hakutsuru, but a good backup is Takara or Kinsen. Those are both a bit hard to find, but I know Choya and even Gekkeikan are available at wine shops, Cost Plus World Market, and Asian groceries.

The recipe I used is from Kitchn, but other bloggers such as Miss Mochi have their own tutorials as well. I had already made my ume shu by the time I saw this video, but it’s also a great way to learn too.

May Foodie Penpals


Our Foodie Penpals package was from Carrie!

What we got was: mango passionfruit tea, cinnamon apple chamomile tea, blueberry superfruit tea, lemon ginger tea, vanilla chai tea, acai berry tea, green tea, green superfruit tea, chamomile tea, licorice spice tea, english breakfast tea, hazelnut coffee, banana chocolate chip muffin mix (with a recipe), 5 pieces of Dove chocolate, almond milk (to use with the muffin mix), cherry cola, coconut cream pie lara bar, hemp granola bar, dandelion and burdock soda, and a lovely note!


The sodas look really interesting. Nicole LOVES that brand of Dandelion & Burdock soda. Cherry Cola is my favorite type of soda, besides Shirley Temples. The tea array was great. It really was a wonderful variety for me to try. All of them were good! The coconut cream bar sounds delectable. I will have to try it soon! The chocolates are always welcome in any package!


I made the banana muffin cups already because I had perfectly 3 over ripe bananas and I wanted to make something with them – how perfect. The almond milk was the perfect size to use with the recipe too. Only complaint I have is that I need to make those muffins again. Perfect for breakfast! I would add a pinch of sugar in the mix if I did it again. Or drizzle honey (Nicole’s suggestion) on top. I did sprinkle some on top and baked them a little more and that seemed to work okay.

What we sent to Jean

What we sent to Jean

We sent to Jean, from Alabama! She loved her package and sent us a nice email and a picture.

For more information on Foodie Penpals, follow the link below.

The Lean Green Bean