Just like making Kimchi every September or traveling home every Chuseok and Korean New Year, making Korean Plum Wine (Maehwasu / 매실주) is a yearly tradition for many of us living in South Korea. The Korean Plum or Maesil season isn’t very long and therefore to enjoy them long term turning them into wine, juice, tea and other products is a fun little hobby. We personally love Maehwasu or Plum Wine and therefore having a quality and homemade supply is always nice. You can prepare the plums in an hour, however the wine takes at least 12 weeks to mature, and like a fine wine or whiskey the long you leave it the better. So this is only a good idea if you’re not planning on moving within the next year. Here are the ingredients required, followed by our 7 steps and final product;
Ingredients Required To Make Korean Plum Wine
+ Korean Plums / Maesil (also known as Green plum, Chinese plum and Japanese apricot)
+ Sugar (We used White Sugar)
+ Alcohol (higher proof soju works better but regular soju can be used for a small batch)
7 Steps to Make Korean Plum Wine (Maewhasu / 매실주)
The whole process of preparing the Plums (Maesil) isn’t overly difficult or time consuming, of course the finished product does take a while to mature. Here are the 7 key steps in making Korean Plum Wine (Maehwasu / 매실주) at home;
Step 1 – Wash the plums and then completely dry them. Excess water will dilute the final product.
Step 2 – Pick out all of the storks which attached the plums to the tree.
Step 3 – (Optional) poke holes into the plums using a toothpick. This helps release the juices from the plums.
Step 4 – Clean your container with Alcohol/Soju and then add the plums, try to minimize the gaps.
Step 5 – Then add Sugar, the more you add the sweeter the final product. The add your alcohol or Soju.
Step 6 – Cover the top tightly, gaps will cause the plums to spoil. And leave in a cool dark place for at least 12 weeks, but better 4-6 months.
Step 7 – Remove the Plums, serve and enjoy.
More Information on Making Korean Plum Wine (Maehwasu / 매실주)
Here are a few useful links on making Korean Plum Wine at Home:
+ Video For Making a Japanese Version
+ KimchiMari Website Link for Maesil Syrup
+ KoreanFood – About.com Link
As always if you have any questions about Making Korean Plum Wine and/or anything else please feel free to let us know. Either below by Email or via Twitter or Facebook.
Tim & Jeonghye
Beautiful article! Thank you so much! Truly Maesil-ju/ 매실주 (Korean Plum Wine) is one of my favorites also. Yours is one of the most enjoyable articles on Maesil-ju that I’ve found (and wonderfully illustrated; wonderful photos), and I’ve read several dozen articles on Maesil-ju if not more (yes I’m a big fan of the drink) and watched as many videos. Guess the best authority to consult on Maesil-ju is somebody who is actually experienced in MAKING it! And so for that reason, truly, thank you for sharing! I’m hopeful you made a video as well! Keep ’em coming! -Ben 😀
Thank you for the detailed information, it is so easy to follow, I can’t wait to taste the wine, thank you again