The article described how to turn ume (Japanese plums) into umeshu (Japanese plum wine). The process was simple. Buy ume, wash them, pull out the little stems, place in a large glass jar, add Japanese rock sugar and a large bottle of vodka, put in a cool dark place and come back in a year.
Now I was on the hunt for ume. I found them at Marukai, at Iranian markets and downtown at a farmers market near the Los Angeles Public Library Main Branch.
Because I had made Limoncello, the idea of waiting a year appealed to me. And the added benefit of putting out very little effort added to what seemed like fun.
When we visited Yabu, our favorite Japanese restaurant, I told the waitstaff that I was going to make umeshu. They loved the idea. It turned out, when they were growing up, umeshu was a liquor made by their grandmothers. Store bought umeshu did not compare to their childhood memories.
They also told me was that after a year bathing in the vodka, the hard green ume would become sweetly edible.
Serving the fruit with the spirit is a nice touch. Kind of an alcoholic fruit punch.