Looking for A Blueberry Salad with A Little Sophistication and A Touch of Sweet Wickedness? We Douse the Stunning Looking White Dragon Fruit with Aromatic Japanese Plum Wine and Create Mouthfuls of Sensational Flavours.
What is Plum Wine?
Plum wine is a Japanese fruit liqueur and it is called umeshu.
The liqueur is a little thick in texture, is smooth when drunk and sweet to taste.
What Is Umeshu Made Of?
Although umeshu is loosely called ‘plum wine’ in English, it is neither made from a plum nor is it even a wine!
Umeshu is made with ume, a Japanese fruit that has been part of Japanese cuisine for hundreds of years. The ume is mostly called a “plum” because it is closely related to the plum and apricot. It is however its own species and can’t be classified as a plum.
The ume, with the stone still left inside, is steeped in sake or shochu. Sugar is added and the mixture is left to ripen. The sweetness of the ume is then absorbed into the alcohol over time and most umeshu will have an average alcohol content of about 10% to 15%.
Many Japanese folk make their own umeshu at home as it’s a relatively simple process that doesn’t require fermenting or distilling. The average time to make umeshu is at least 3 months to a year. The longer the ume is left to ripen in the alcohol, the stronger the flavours and aromas will be.
How to Drink Umeshu?
There are many ways to enjoy this fruit liqueur:
- Neat: Like all spirits and liqueurs, drinking it straight offers the purest of drinking experiences.
- On the Rocks: This is the most common way umeshu is drunk and certainly how I like to drink it. I find that umeshu can sometimes be too sweet for me so the melting ice helps to dilute the umeshu. And the perfect drink to have on a hot summer’s day.
- With Water: If umeshu is too strong for you, you can mix it with water. If you blend it with chilled water, it is called “mizuwari” style. If you mix it with green tea, it is known as “ochawari” style, with hot water during the blistery months it is called “oyuwari” style and with soda or bubbly mineral water, it is known as “sodawari” style.
What Are the Different Types of Umeshu?
Nigori umeshu refers to umeshu that is unfiltered or contains pulp. For this process, the ume is grated and the pulp is used to brew the umeshu, giving it a cloudy appearance.
Kokuto umeshu is made the same way as all other regular umeshu with the only difference being that it is made with brown sugar instead of white sugar. This gives the umeshu a deeper fragrance and is generally sweeter in taste.
If you’re looking for umeshu with a more mature flavour, source koshu umeshu which means aged umeshu. Koshu umeshu is aged in an oak cask, much like whisky.
Genshu is undiluted umeshu. This means that the umeshu has not been blended with water and maintains its original alcohol content.
Some Cool Facts about Dragon Fruit
I love dragon fruit, both white or red. I wanted to find out more about the fruit and found these super cool facts which I thought I would share with you.
- Red and white dragon fruit comes from a cactus flower.
- The cactus flower only survives one night and then wilts the next day. As soon as the day breaks, the sun starts to dry their petals, which fall to the ground, revealing the budding fruit.
- They are pollinated by nocturnal moths and bats.
- Because dragon fruit blooms from evening to midnight, it’s sometimes called the “Moonflower” or “Queen of the Night.”
- Eating too much red-coloured dragon fruit can give rise to a harmless condition called pseudohematuria, which can turn urine reddish.
- Dragon fruit comes from Mexico because the cacti that bears its fruit is native to this country.
- Its highly scented flowers are edible and, when dried, can also be used to make herbal brews.
- Dragon fruit is good for acne. You can mash it into a paste and gently apply it to the affected area.
- Helps your hair grow which is why many people drink its juice.
- Dragon fruit is also known as strawberry pear or pitaya.
- Both red and white dragon fruit contains an antioxidant that helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- It’s great for people who have high blood sugar levels as it helps to normalise it.
- Mix white dragon fruit with honey and cucumber juice and it can help to soothe sunburned skin.
Why I Love Blueberry Salad with Plum Wine Infused Dragon Fruit
As I have always said, fruit salads don’t have to be boring. You can do so much more than just cutting them up in small bite size pieces and mixing them all together.
This is the adult version of a fruit salad which I created for a special occasion. It is such a grown-up looking fruit salad not only because it’s infused with plum wine, but also because this blueberry salad simply looks so sexy! This boozy fruit salad is just what you need for events like New Year’s Eve bash or birthday celebrations.
The colours are dark and sophisticated, the alcohol infused fruit are just balls of sweet magnificence whilst the sugary lime zest crystals pack a serious punch. All the flavours are so good and not like any fruit salad you’ve ever had before.
How to Make Blueberry Salad with Plum Wine Infused Dragon Fruit
How To Infuse Dragon Fruit
Cut the white dragon fruit in half, lengthwise. Using a melon baller, ball as many dragon fruit balls as you can. If you have a choice of sizes, choose the smaller scoop as you’ll be able to get more out of the fruit. You’ll also find that if the fruit is quite big, you’ll be able to cut of the section you have balled to make way for the flesh underneath as well. Trying to reduce as much wastage as possible.
BTW, keep the offcuts for a basic fruit salad the next day or do what I do all the time, make smoothies.
Once you have finished balling all the white dragon fruit, place them in a bowl or jug. Cover the fruit with umeshu until they are fully submerged. Put the alcohol infused fruit in the fridge and let it sit for at least 24 hours.
After the 24-hour period, separate the plum wine from the white dragon fruit. Again, I do try to reduce any form of wastage wherever possible. The umeshu is still drinkable. It may have a small tinge of dragon fruit flavour, although minute and it will no doubt have dragon fruit seeds floating around. Apart from that, the plum wine can still be drunk. I told Phen the plum wine I was pouring for her was “recycled” and she looked at me dubiously! LOL!
How To Prepare The Rest Of The Ingredients
Wash the blueberries. Pat them dry and set aside.
Wash the black grapes and pat them dry. Cut them in half or in thirds if they are really big. Do make sure these black grapes are seedless.
Zest the limes with a zester or grater. Then mix in 2 tsps of caster sugar and mix thoroughly. They will form into fine, green sugar crystals.
How To Assemble The Fruit Salad
Unlike most fruit salads, this blueberry salad doesn’t have to go in a bowl. You can serve it on a plate or platter, which is what I did as I felt that it would look more sophisticated presented as a whole instead of a few small servings.
Very gently, mix the alcohol infused fruit with the blueberries and the black grapes. The white dragon fruit is now on the softer side so you don’t want it to get squashed. Using a large spoon, scoop the fruit salad onto the plate.
Then sprinkle the sugared lime zest on top.
This blueberry salad turned out much better than I had expected. The only thing I was disappointed about was the fact that the sugared lime zest crystals got more attention than my plum wine infused white dragon fruit! The combination mixed in with the super sweet black grapes was out of this world. I watched Phen demolish the whole plate! LOL!
More Dessert Salad Recipes:
Blueberry Salad with Plum Wine Infused Dragon Fruit
- 2 white dragon fruit
- 2 limes
- 1 punnet blueberries
- 300 g black grapes, seedless
- 500 l plum wine
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- Cut the dragon fruit in half, lengthways. Using the smaller end of a melon baller, ball as many dragon fruit balls as you can. Place the balled dragon fruit in a jar or bowl and pour plum wine over the dragon fruit until fully submerged. Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Drain and set aside.
- Wash blueberries, pat dry and set aside.
- Cut seedless black grapes in half or in thirds if they are quite big. Set aside.
- Zest 2 limes. Mix the lime zest with caster sugar.
- In a medium size bowl, gently mix together the dragon fruit, blueberries and black grapes.
- Place the fruit salad on a serving plate.
- Sprinkle generously with lime zest and sugar mix.
- Serve immediately.
- You should be able to find plum wine in your liquor store. If not, try Japanese grocers.
- Select a plum wine that is as clear as possible so that it doesn’t stain the white dragon fruit.
- After infusion, the plum wine is still drinkable as it only has a slight tinge of dragon fruit through it. Don’t waste it!
- If you’re not able to find black grapes, you can substitute it with red grapes. Just make sure they are seedless.