Generally, the ingredients for umeshu are ume fruit, sugar and alcohol – only natural ingredients. But some manufacturers are now turning to mass production to lower prices.
Some of these companies sell umeshu made with a combination of citric acid, which is an acidulant, flavoring, food coloring and ume extract.
In light of this, in January 2015, the Japan Spirits & Liquors Makers Association, one of Japan’s liquor industry groups, began to define umeshu made only from ume fruit, sugar and alcohol as “Honkaku Umeshu”.
Honkaku Umeshu is increasingly popular with health-conscious consumers. CHOYA, mentioned previously, is a certified producer of Honkaku Umeshu.