I’m a sucker for a good supermarket display, which is why last week, I found myself captivated by a DIY plum wine (technically, it's a liqueur) display at Mitsuwa, a chain of Japanese markets. Unbeknownst to me, we’re in the season to make hooch out of unripened, tart green ume, a kind of apricot it turns out.
I’d only had commercially-made Japanese plum wine produced with a base of white wine, and it was good chilled. For the Saigon Silk cocktail on page 150 in The Pho Cookbook, we used Takara plum wine. What would homemade be like?
The little fruits (Prunus mume) are related to apricots but commonly referred to in English as a plum. The fruits are preserved and made into drinks and condiments in East Asia (e.g., traditional Chinese plum sauce is often made from the same fruits).