Monday, January 9, 2012

Infusion #5: Umeshu, Part II

Five months ago I let a few whole green pluots begin soaking in a bunch of soju. This was in a shoddy attempt to create my own version of umeshu, an East Asian plum "wine".

Because I'm on the other side of the earth, I settled for trying the recipe using an unripe version of some new-fangled cross-species instead of a traditional asian plum.

Much like seeing a movie before reading the book on which it was based, I can't tell you how faithful the final product is, but I can tell you how good it is.

It's good!

The infusion product ended up being a pale brown with almost a hue of green... ("before" and "after" pictured above) not bad considering that all this color was infused through the skin of the pluots.

The sweetness of the stuff is almost just right, between the initial sweetness of soju and the added sugar pulled from the fruit. Because of this, I only needed to add a bit of rich simple syrup in order to get it to my liking.

The final flavor is overwhelmingly of overripe plums... or even prunes, if you will. As someone who enjoys prune juice, I certainly enjoy this. A determined effort will reveal slight "green" flavors of sour plum and even perhaps the tannins that were once there. Sipping this umeshu certainly isn't a contemplative process where one strives to pick out flavors from a complex sip, but the process is, without a doubt, pleasant.

I would consider this umeshu infusion an overall success, though I have a feeling that my final brew is nothing like the real thing.

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