Japanese ume plum syrup juice: A summer drink for the whole family

Just before the start of the rainy season, you’ve probably seen your local supermarket filling up with umeshu (Japanese plum wine) making sets. A simple recipe that involves leaving Japanese fresh green uh plums in a jar with candy sugar and shōchu (a distilled Japanese liquor) and let ferment for more than a year.

Photo: iStock: Stephanie Vargas

However, as wonderfully refreshing, flavorful and popular as umeshu is, it is not a drink for everyone. Using the same umeshu ingredients minus the alcohol, you can actually make a delicious non-alcoholic syrup that you can mix with sparkling water to make a seasonal fizzy drink that kids and adults can enjoy! The recipe is so simple, it’s a great way to involve kids in the making process. And the best part is that, unlike umeshu, you don’t have to wait an entire year to use it!

Although ume (Japanese plums) are usually only available at this time of year, unlike the ume you need to make umeshu or umeboshi (fermented sour plums), the ume to make this syrup can be frozen so you can buy in bulk now and freeze your plums in a freezer safe ziplock bag or container and make this recipe any time of the year. Just be sure not to let the ume thaw at any time.


Makes about 500 milliliters of ume plum syrup

  • 500 grams Japanese ume plums (or frozen Japanese ume plums*)
  • 500 grams of candy sugar (氷砂糖 korizato)
  • 2 liter glass jar with airtight lid
  • carbonated water
  • Ice


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