Backyard BBQ

Sake Mojito With Ginger & Umeboshi

May 11, 2021
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Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Sophia Pappas. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.
Author Notes

Mojitos always seem to hit the spot when it comes to lounging poolside on a hot summer day. Throughout the years, I’ve tried several variations on the classic: strawberry, raspberry, orange, you name it.

But my new favorite riff on this cocktail stars a fruit you may not have heard of before: ume. Also known as Japanese plum or apricot, ume comes from the prunus mume deciduous tree that is native to east and southeast Asia. You can find the ripest and plumpest plums during the peak of its season, which falls between June and July. However, in the United States, you can buy the salted and pickled version of the fruit (umeboshi) at Japanese grocery stores all year round.

Through the pickling process, the ripe fruit is transformed into a fermented, salty, and tangy treat that makes you pucker with every bite. To balance the sweetness of the mojito, I muddled the mint with umeboshi—it adds umami and salinity for a more complex yet equally satisfying drink. To bring those flavors even further to the forefront, I included umeshu (a Japanese liqueur made with ume) and sake, along with the traditional white rum. The result is a mojito that’s sweet and tangy, with just a touch of saltiness—ready for summer sipping. —Maki Yazawa

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with LG STUDIO. —The Editors

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • makes 1 cocktail
Ingredients
  • For the mojito:
  • 2 tablespoons umeboshi, pitted and chopped
  • 8 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 ounce ginger simple syrup (see below)
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, plus lime rounds for garnish
  • 1 ounce sake
  • 1 1/2 ounces umeshu
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • For the ginger simple syrup:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For the mojito:
  2. Gently muddle the umeboshi and mint leaves at the bottom of the serving glass. Set aside.
  3. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add ginger simple syrup, lime juice, sake, umeshu, and white rum. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  4. Garnish with thinly sliced lime rounds and a fresh mint sprig.
  1. For the ginger simple syrup:
  2. Combine sugar, water, and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove the ginger and cool the mixture to room temperature before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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