Cocktail Friday: Umeshu Soda

by Tokyo Terrace on October 16, 2009

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Is it really Friday already? I have had such a whirlwind of a week that I had not realized Friday had already made it’s appearance. My sister arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday night and I have been soaking in all the time I possibly can with her. We have seen Shibuya, Omotesando, Futakotamagawa…all the places one tries to explain in words but cannot begin to accurately depict.

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Cocktail Friday snuck up on me as well. I have to admit that I had nothing planned until this afternoon. So I stopped by the convenience store and picked up a single serving of Umeshu (plum wine) and a bottle of soda water to make one of my favorite Japanese cocktails. Umeshu is made by soaking plums in alcohol for a period of time. Often times a plum is put in the bottom of a glass when served at a restaurant. The plums resemble a massive martini olive, but don’t be fooled! (They are sweet and infused with the flavor of the alcohol.) I don’t know the details of the process, but I do know that the result is a not-too-sweet liquor that can be used in many different ways. I love the flavor of Umeshu, but sometimes it seems too concentrated on its own. Umeshu soda, however, balances the flavor of the Umeshu by adding light, fizzy soda water.

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Whether we are out singing karaoke or enjoying a meal at an izakaya, Umeshu soda is a great addition. As I mentioned earlier, I bought my Umeshu at the convenience store. It was not the best Umeshu I have ever had, but it did the trick.I believe plum wine is available in the United States at most liquor stores (but don’t quote me on that as I’ve never really looked…) If you have access to Umeshu, give this a try!

Umeshu Soda

Makes 1 cocktail

Fill a glass with ice. Pour in a half glass of Umeshu and top it off with the soda water. (Optional: add a little fresh lemon juice).

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  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com/ Divina

    I think one day you should have a cocktail book in the bookstores. I wonder if someone has offered you that.

    They do really look like olives. I’ll check the Japanese store soon. :)

  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com Divina

    I think one day you should have a cocktail book in the bookstores. I wonder if someone has offered you that.

    They do really look like olives. I’ll check the Japanese store soon. :)

  • http://www.houseboateats.com/ Talley

    we have a fantastic asian market here in seattle, uwjimaya. and I’ve seen tons of plum wines, but I’ve never bought one. Given a huge selection, do you have any suggestions for how someone might go about picking? Any brand names or ‘grade levels’ to look out for? I will definitely give this a try.

  • http://www.houseboateats.com Talley

    we have a fantastic asian market here in seattle, uwjimaya. and I’ve seen tons of plum wines, but I’ve never bought one. Given a huge selection, do you have any suggestions for how someone might go about picking? Any brand names or ‘grade levels’ to look out for? I will definitely give this a try.

  • Jan

    Wish I could be there to enjoy one of these with my girls. Looks delicious.

  • Jan

    Wish I could be there to enjoy one of these with my girls. Looks delicious.

  • http://foodnetworkmusings.blogspot.com/ Sue

    Gorgeous pictures.

  • http://foodnetworkmusings.blogspot.com/ Sue

    Gorgeous pictures.

  • http://topsy.com/tb/bit.ly/Nw2G3 Twitter Trackbacks for Cocktail Friday: Umeshu Soda « Tokyo Terrace [tokyoterrace.com] on Topsy.com

    [...] Cocktail Friday: Umeshu Soda « Tokyo Terrace tokyoterrace.com/2009/10/16/cocktail-friday-umeshu-soda – view page – cached Is it really Friday already? I have had such a whirlwind of a week that I had not realized Friday had already made it’s appearance. My sister arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday night and I have been… (Read more)Is it really Friday already? I have had such a whirlwind of a week that I had not realized Friday had already made it’s appearance. My sister arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday night and I have been soaking in all the time I possibly can with her. We have seen Shibuya, Omotesando, Futakotamagawa…all the places one tries to explain in words but cannot begin to accurately depict. (Read less) — From the page [...]

  • http://nutritionasnatureintended.blogspot.com/ the traditional gourmand

    I have to try this! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  • http://nutritionasnatureintended.blogspot.com the traditional gourmand

    I have to try this! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  • tokyoterrace

    thetraditionalgourmand: No problem! I hope you enjoy!

  • tokyoterrace

    thetraditionalgourmand: No problem! I hope you enjoy!

  • tokyoterrace

    Sue: Thank you!

  • tokyoterrace

    Sue: Thank you!

  • tokyoterrace

    Divina: I hope a cookbook of some sort is in my future! No offers yet, but I’m just going to keep working hard and doing what I love.

  • tokyoterrace

    Divina: I hope a cookbook of some sort is in my future! No offers yet, but I’m just going to keep working hard and doing what I love.

  • tokyoterrace

    Talley: Unfortunately I don’t have much information to offer about the specifics of Umeshu. This is *definitely* a goal of mine while living in Japan and as I learn I will be sure to share!

  • tokyoterrace

    Jan: It was quite delicious! Wish you could be here too…

  • tokyoterrace

    Talley: Unfortunately I don’t have much information to offer about the specifics of Umeshu. This is *definitely* a goal of mine while living in Japan and as I learn I will be sure to share!

  • tokyoterrace

    Jan: It was quite delicious! Wish you could be here too…

  • tokyoterrace

    Hey Talley. As with wine, a lot of the fun comes in the search too. If you don’t mind trying two, pick out two mid-range bottles and compare. There’s not a single bottle we can purchase here that probably has the same English name as what you can purchase in Seattle. Find a beautiful label, priced somewhere in the middle, and it’s sure to be a good umeshu.

    As Rachael said, we are looking into your question though, so check back for future posts after we’ve learned more about it!

    -Brad

  • tokyoterrace

    Hey Talley. As with wine, a lot of the fun comes in the search too. If you don’t mind trying two, pick out two mid-range bottles and compare. There’s not a single bottle we can purchase here that probably has the same English name as what you can purchase in Seattle. Find a beautiful label, priced somewhere in the middle, and it’s sure to be a good umeshu.

    As Rachael said, we are looking into your question though, so check back for future posts after we’ve learned more about it!

    -Brad

  • http://wasabiprime.blogspot.com/ wasabi prime

    Yum. This sounds so refreshing. I think people underestimate the flavor of plums and how they can be used in so many things. Have you eaten any of the preserved or pickled plums? They’re definitely an acquired taste if you’re not into really strong, sour flavors, but they’re really good with beer. :)

  • http://wasabiprime.blogspot.com wasabi prime

    Yum. This sounds so refreshing. I think people underestimate the flavor of plums and how they can be used in so many things. Have you eaten any of the preserved or pickled plums? They’re definitely an acquired taste if you’re not into really strong, sour flavors, but they’re really good with beer. :)

  • http://www.tokyoterrace.com/2011/03/ume-and-umeshu/ From Ume to Umeshu — Tokyo Terrace :: An American Foodie in Tokyo

    [...] here for the recipe I used. And here for a little post about umeshu soda. blog comments powered by Disqus [...]

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