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Akashi-Tai Shiraume Umeshu Plum Infused Sake 50 cl

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People even make their version of Umeshu wine at home. We cannot promise they will meet your taste and standards just like the ones you find in the restaurants. But they will still have the vintage edge that has made homemade Umeshu all the rage. Finally, let’s finish it up by talking about some of the nation’s favorite brands of umeshu . These are commercial beverages you can find in most stores, straight from the hands of Japan’s most honed and infamous brewers.

The sweetness in this sake is more pronounced, which is what inspired me to also try it as a marinade for steamed fish. Mixed with soy sauce and ginger and topped with scallions, this sake was a perfect ingredient (as well as pairing with the dish itself) and removed the need for added sugar. Have you ever tried cooking with sake? | Photo by @thesakemom. In brewing its select sakes, Akashi Sake Brewery uses only the finest ingredients, which are all produced locally. For example, the company uses the yamada-nishiki variety of rice "a superior strain" grown in the region just north of Akashi City. The raw plums are marinated and fermented in sugar and salt to dissolve the bitter taste. This extracts the rich Ume flavor of the plum out. You can drink them with ice, or use them at normal temperature. You can even warm them up if you want to drink it in the winter months. If you have trouble choosing between all the different brands, you can try the tasting set in the shop. They will give you 3 brands you have selected in tiny tasting glasses. It is priced at 1000 Yen which is a pretty great deal.

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The bottle’s hue shows off the whole, green plums inside; and upon observing the texture of the plums, one might be reminded of an unusual, wrinkly olive. But don’t be mistaken and don’t be foolish to dismiss the luscious plums inside! When you pour, you’ll see that the sake also exhibits a light amber shade, and when you taste it, you’ll want more! With just the right amount of sweet, sour and tart, this works well as a “bridge” sake for beginners. In Japan, we have a liquor called “White Liquor” (ホワイトリカー), whichwe use for making plum wine or fruit wine. If you can’t find it, don’t sweat it and use shochu or vodka. The wine is an offering from a well-known Japanese company, the Godo Sushei company ltd. They have been making Umeshu since 1924. The word Fu-ki literally translates to rich and noble, which describes the experience of the wine. Umeshu can be served at different temperatures; chilled or with ice, room temperature, or even hot in the winter. Their plum sake has a very nice rose color. When slightly chilled, the aroma is more restrained and the sake goes down very smoothly. On my second pour, I took more time and allowed it to sit in the wine glass; before taking the very last sip, I experienced something grand—a fruity fragrance immediately followed by a luxurious bouquet aroma! Wow, is this nature’s perfume? This must be what Japan smells like when the plum blossoms are in bloom.

The word sake is actually just a general term for booze in Japan, whereas the rice-based drink that we know as sake is called 'nihonshu'. There are over 70 rice varieties used for sake production, and to make the drink the brewery must mill or polish the outer layer of bran down to the starch in the centre. The degree of milling is the main signifier of quality within sake. With a minimum degree of 40% polishing, Ginjo sake is the second highest quality level of the main styles of Sake. I'll list these different styles at the end of the blog. After polishing, they introduce the magical Koji mould (which is similar to the spores used to make blue cheese) and this converts the starch to sugar to allow fermentation. Yeast and water are now added to start this process. While the brands below are generally a safe choice when you’re just discovering umeshu , we do recommend asking for the bartender’s recommendations when visiting a specialty bar. Choya Umeshu Soda ( umeshu so-da wari , 梅酒ソーダ割り) is pretty much what it sounds like - simple plum wine mixed with carbonated water. The great thing about this drink is that it works with any type of umeshu, even if it’s off-brand. In fact, the mixture can actually heighten and improve the taste of an otherwise unimpressive plum wine . Akashi Sake Brewery pride themselves on maintaining a traditional handcrafted approach to creating the finest Japanese sake. Brewing superior sake by hand requires all five senses to perfect with the natural processes of fermentation and flavour development. Even the hushed sounds of natural fermentation at work can be heard in the cool, quiet rooms of their brewery. First, you will want to prepare the plums by removing the stems, washing and thoroughly drying each fruit. Make sure you discard any softened or spoiled fruits, or else the entire batch will spoil.

Outside Japan

This is a Japanese specialty that is enjoyed best in winter months. Mix warm water with Umeshu in the ratio of 1:1 and you have a handy, delicious drink to sip by the fireplace. I'm talking of course about Akashi-Tai Shiraume Ginjo Umeshu. That's a pretty impenetrable title, but if we break it down, the tale of this wonderful elixir is revealed. As it's Japanese, we'll go right to left! The Takara group was founded near the end of Edo period in 1842. It became one of the biggest brands in Japan in the last half-century.

With genshu umeshu , none of that happens, and what you are getting is basically natural, straight-up umeshu as it came out of the brewing process. Ideally, undiluted plum wine is best served on ice, or slightly diluted, as it’s considerably stronger. Nigori One of six principles held closely by Sawanotsuru is “Sake is not something to make but to nurture.” Made of 100% Nanko Ume from Wakayama Prefecture (the finest plums in all of Japan) and brewed with Miyamizu (one of the three famous water sources of Japan), you can experience their nurturing style in this plum sake. If you have bought a bottle already, and don’t know what to do with it, here are a few recipes you can try. The Umeshu differs from normal wines because they can be taken drunk at different temperatures. Next, layer the glass jar with alternating layers of plums, and sugars. When the jar is full, pour the alcohol over the plums and sugars, until they are completely covered. Leave to mature in a dark, dry place (away from the sun), stirring the mixture every three weeks or so during the maturation process. Above, we talked about the different combinations one can enjoy traditional umeshu in. Now, let’s talk a bit about the different types currently on the market, and how they differ from the traditional beverage. Genshu

Table of contents

Some of the brands below are, in fact, so famous that they can even be found in international bars. Of course, you can just pour yourself a nice glass of umeshu (in whichever combination you like) at the end of a long day, to just enjoy the nice, sweet-sour flavor. But did you know that the occasional glass also carries some interesting benefits for your health? Source of Nutrients

As for the Umeshu, it has a very subtle and sweet taste of the wine with very little acidic taste. The drink is also sulfite-free and has extremely high-quality Ume. In a few weeks, we’ll be seeing our friends steep fresh, unripe Japanese plum (or is it apricot?) in liquor in big glass jars that will sit for six months or longer to convert into umeshu; but for those of us who don’t have access to ume, we can enjoy premium umeshu by three wonderful sake breweries through the Plum Sake Set. Plum Sake Set All three plum sake are distinct. Notice the differences in color and viscosity. | Photo by @thesakemom.

More than a sake, this drink is an Umeshu, meaning a plum liqueur made by preserving Japanese Ume plums in sake. Traditionally Umeshu is made using distilled spirit (Shochu) but Akashi-Tai use sake for a more subtle character. To make plum wine, we need neutral, colorless, near-flavorless distilled spirits/liquor such as shochu (焼酎) and vodka. Make sure it is at least35% ABV (alcohol by volume) or 70 proof. The plum wine could become spoiled when alcohol percentage go down being diluted by the fruit juice from the plum. Another big-name Japanese alcohol brewer, Kubota Shuzo is also sold internationally, mostly in specialty liquor stores and fine bars. Kubota Shuzo is actually a sake producer, at its origin, and one of the largest in the country. However, it’s not uncommon for sake brewers to also dabble in the occasional glass of plum wine , and Kubota Shuzo has managed to do this wonderfully. This restaurant is pretty close to Ueno station. You might not have heard of this place for Umeshu experience, primarily because they are a buffet restaurant. But they are really heavy on serving healthy food, so if you enjoy vegetarian food, you can get lots of veggie dishes. The best way to drink Choya Ume Blanc is as a dessert wine with some ice, and completely chilled. 2. Takara Koshu Plum

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