Nothing complicated in the method either. First of all, wash the ume fruit and remove the black stem with a skewer. Sterilise the glass jar and leave to cool whilst all the ume are dried out naturally. In the jar, then, place alternate layers of the ume and rock sugar and gently pour the liquor over them. At last, seal the jar and store in a cool and dark place. It’s ready to drink in three months, but the more the liqueur gets aged, the better the flavour will be as more than two years is my taste. You can also eat the tipsy flesh of ume on its own, make jam, or simply throw them away.
This year, my family tried a new take because my mum got a more palatable recipe from a Japanese fine dining restaurant chef on TV. The rough measurement of his concoction is something like 2kg of ume, 1kg of fruit sugar in place of rock sugar, 1.8L of white liquor plus 1.8L of “daiginjo” (大吟醸), that is highly-refined sake. Well, our choice for this is “Mansaku-no-Hana” (まんさくの花) on limited sale, brewed in Akita pref. of North Japan.
The freshly-made ume-shu is now settled in its bed room to ensure a long, deep sleep. I just remembered one Japanese proverb: “good sleep grows kids a lot”..... and ume-shu too!!