A couple of weeks ago, I made some plum wine (umeshu) with Joanna and her adorable 19-month old daughter Isabella! It’ll be ready to drink in about a year — so Joanna can have a taste, but I think Isabella will still have to wait a bit longer.
You can see the process here. It’s quite simple. The hardest bit is getting the right kind of fruit. Umeshu is usually made from unripe, green plums. I substituted these delicious Ontario yellow plums, what the Quebecois would probably call “des prunes.”
First, sterilize your container. I used an old cookie jar with a sealable top I got at Value Village for about $1, then ran it through the dishwasher. (Be sure to take the rubber gasket off the lid first.) Layer your plums in the container with sugar. Rock sugar is preferable, but since I couldn’t find any, I used some organic sugar I got at the Bulk Barn.
Once you’ve layered the jar with the plums and sugar, you add the alcohol. Typically this would be shochu, a sort of Japanese whiskey made from rice (Suntory Whisky, anyone?). I substituted some cheap sake I got at the LCBO, and added a little Spiritus (95% alcohol) to get the mix around 70-80 proof (what you want).
Seal tightly and shake. Store in a dark, cool place, but not in the refrigerator. Ready in 1 year.
I sure hope it tastes good…