How to make homemade plum wine

Written by thomas mcnish
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How to make homemade plum wine
Plum wine is called umeshu in Japan. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Plum wine, also known as umeshu, is a sweet wine that's popular in Japan, Korea and China. But you don't have to travel the globe to indulge in this alcoholic delicacy. In fact, you don't have to travel anywhere because you can make your own plum wine at home using a few basic ingredients and some common household items. However, you'll have to be patient as this process can take several months, or even a year, to successfully complete because, like most other wines, plum wine gets better with age.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 qt. shochu (Japanese white liquor)
  • 0.454kg. green plums
  • Airtight container
  • Toothpick
  • Colander
  • Paper towel
  • 0.227kg. rock sugar

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  1. 1

    Dampen a paper towel with shochu. Rub the paper towel around the inside of an airtight container to sanitise it. Sanitise the inside of the lid as well.

  2. 2

    Place your plums into a large bowl and fill it with water. Soak the plums for a couple of hours.

  3. 3

    Drain the plums in a colander, and then place them onto a paper towel. Dry them off individually.

  4. 4

    Wedge a toothpick in between the stem and the peel, and then lever the toothpick up. The stem should then pop off. Remove the stems of all the plums.

  5. 5

    Stab several holes into each plum with the toothpick. This will allow the plums to release their juices more easily, creating a more flavourful wine.

  6. 6

    Add a handful of plums to your container. Add a couple of handfuls of rock sugar so that there's a layer of each. Add another layer of plums, followed by another layer of rock sugar. Continue this process until you have used the entire pound of plums and 0.227kg. of rock sugar.

  7. 7

    Add 1 qt. shochu to the container. Seal the container with a lid and allow it to sit in a cold, dark place for no less than three months. Six months is better, and a full year is ideal. Label the container with a date so that you know when it's time to drink it.

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