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Make your own apricot liqueur with just 3 ingredients! Fresh, sweet, and fruity, this liqueur has a flavor comparable to Japanese Umeshu. Apricots are steeped for about 3 months in liquor and sugar to create a delightful and aromatic beverage!

Bottle of homemade apricot liqueur.

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • A more affordable version of Umeshu. If you have wanted to make your own Umeshu, but couldn’t find ume plums, you will love this alternative! Ume fruits are hard to find outside of Asia and are often expensive. This liqueur makes use of simple ingredients and regular apricots for a twist on the traditional Umeshu. It’s just as delicious!
  • Incredible flavor and aroma. This liqueur is aromatic, with a subtle tanginess and plenty of apricot aroma! You can serve it on the rocks or use it as a cocktail base!
  • Super simple to prepare. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a jar, put it in a dark place, and forget about it. It’s that easy!

📘 What is Apricot Liqueur

An apricot liqueur is an alcoholic drink made with fresh apricots that are steeped in a neutral spirit. It is often sweetened with either rock sugar or granulated sugar. After a few months, the fruits infuse the liqueur with a wonderful flavor.

The Japanese version of apricot liqueur is called Umeshu and is made with unripe ume plums. Although ume is often translated to “plum,” it is actually close to the apricot fruit.

Ingredients like apricots, rock sugar, and vodka.

🍑 Ingredient Notes

This homemade liqueur requires just 3 easy-to-find ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • Apricots – Do not use dried apricots here. You must use fresh and quality apricots. I like to use semi-ripe apricots, but you can use them ripe or unripe, depending on how sour you want the liqueur.
  • Sugar – Preferably yellow rock sugar or light brown sugar. It will give your liqueur a golden brown color.
  • Alcohol – Use a neutral, flavorless spirit with about 30% ABV (alcohol by volume). You can use vodka or rice wine. Do not try to use a lower ABV, or your liqueur might turn bad.
  • Water – Optional. If you are using alcohol with a higher alcohol content, you will need to dilute it. Check out the Tips section to learn more about that.

🥣 How To Make It

Soak the apricots

  1. Soak the apricots. Start by placing your apricots in a large bowl. Cover with water and let them soak for 30-50 minutes. This step helps remove some of the pesticide residues.
  2. Drain them. Drain the apricots well and transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels.
  3. Remove the stems. Using your hands or a toothpick, remove the stems from the apricots and discard them.

Combine

  1. Place the rock sugar in a clean glass container. You can use one 33-ounce (1L) glass jar.
  2. Add the apricots to the jar.
  3. Pour the liquor over the apricots and close the jar.
Placing fresh apricots in a glass jar.

Steep

The final step is to let the liqueur steep in a dark and cool place for at least 3 months. The sugar will melt, and the apricots will slowly release their scent and infuse the liqueur.

🍹 How To Serve It

You can serve this liqueur:

  • On the rocks: The best way to enjoy its delightful aroma! Serve it with a few ice cubes and an orange peel.
  • With soda water: Mix soda water and apricot liqueur in equal parts for a sparkling beverage.
  • In cocktails: Use the apricot liqueur as a base for all your cocktail needs! It brings sweet, fruity, and sour flavors.

📔 Tips

  • Adjust the alcohol content. I recommend using neutral alcohol with about 30% ABV (alcohol by volume). If you can’t find rice wine with that ABV, you can definitely use vodka. Since vodka is generally about 40% ABV, you must dilute it with water. To do so, instead of using 3 cups of alcohol, use 2 cups of vodka and 1 cup of water. That will give you approximately 30% ABV.
  • Use rock sugar. While you can use any sugar, I highly recommend rock sugar. As it slowly dissolves, it extracts more flavor from the apricots, resulting in a tastier liqueur.
  • Pick good-quality apricots. Not all apricots are equal, so make sure you pick tasty apricots. Organic apricots are even better.

💬 FAQ

How does this apricot liqueur taste compared to umeshu?

It tastes incredibly similar! It is comparable to the type of umeshu made with ripe ume plums (Choya Craft Fruit, for example), so it is slightly less sour than regular umeshu.

Can I use unripe apricots?

You can use ripe or unripe apricots. Using unripe apricots will create a more sour flavor. Ripe apricots will yield a sweeter liqueur with almost no sourness.

Can I shorten the infusing time?

Unfortunately, you will have to be patient. This liqueur must be infused for at least 3 months to develop its flavor. At the 2-month mark, it still has an alcohol aftertaste, while after the 3 full months, you can really taste the flavor of the apricots.

Does this liqueur need to be refrigerated?

No, you can keep this apricot liqueur at room temperature.

How long does this liqueur keep?

You can keep the liqueur almost indefinitely as the sugar and alcohol content act as natural preservatives.

Pouring apricot liqueur into a glass.

If you like umeshu, you will love this homemade apricot liqueur! It packs plenty of apricot flavor and makes a delicious and refreshing drink for any occasion!

🍶 More Homemade Liqueur Recipes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Glass bottle of homemade apricot liqueur.
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Recipe

Apricot Liqueur

5 from 6 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Make your own apricot liqueur with just 3 ingredients! Fresh, sweet, and fruity, this liqueur has a flavor comparable to Japanese Umeshu.
Prep Time : 20 minutes
Resting Time : 90 days
Total Time : 90 days 20 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Calories 187 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 14 ounces fresh apricots
  • 7 ounces rock sugar or light brown sugar
  • 3 cups vodka or rice wine  it should be about 30% alcohol

Instructions
 

Prepare the apricots

  • Start by placing your apricots in a large bowl. Cover with water and let them soak for 30-50 minutes. This step helps remove some of the pesticide residues.
  • Drain them. Drain the apricots well and transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels. Using your hands or a toothpick, remove the stems from the apricots and discard them.

Assemble

  • Place the rock sugar in a clean glass container. You can use one 33-ounce (1L) glass jar.
  • Add the apricots to the jar. Pour the liquor over the apricots and close the jar.
  • Let the liqueur steep in a dark and cool place for at least 3 months before enjoying it. Afterward, you can filter the liqueur, discard the apricots, and transfer the liquid to a clean glass bottle.

Notes

  • Adjust the alcohol content. I recommend using neutral alcohol with about 30% ABV (alcohol by volume). If you can’t find rice wine with that ABV, you can definitely use vodka. Since vodka is generally about 40% ABV, you must dilute it with water. To do so, instead of using 3 cups of alcohol, use 2 cups of vodka and 1 cup of water. That will give you approximately 30% ABV.
  • Use rock sugar. While you can use any sugar, I highly recommend rock sugar. As it slowly dissolves, it extracts more flavor from the apricots, resulting in a tastier liqueur.
  • Pick good-quality apricots. Not all apricots are equal, so make sure you pick tasty apricots. Organic apricots are even better.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25 cup | Calories: 187 kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.6 g | Protein: 0.1 g | Fat: 0.1 g | Potassium: 22 mg | Fiber: 0.2 g | Sugar: 17.4 g | Calcium: 1 mg
Course : Drinks
Cuisine : Japanese
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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5 stars
It’s hard to find ume plums. But I love umeshu. So I’ll try this abricot replacement. Thank you for sharing.

5 stars
I have just created my Christmas liquor. Fingers crossed 🤞 it will taste divine. Definitely keep you informed how it turned out. Thank you for your recipe!

Why such a big jar? It only fills to about 1/3.

5 stars
Thank you for sharing this recipe. Just bottled mine using peaches. Can we add the stones from the peaches to the mixture? Will this make it a bit sour?

5 stars
Thank you! i surely will try it! By the way, do you know if/how the apricots can be used onced filtered? It would be a shame to waste them 🙂

5 stars
I’ve just set a batch of this up and will hide it in the pantry at least until bonfire night or maybe Christmas. I’ve used a 2ltr jar and 1x ingredients but jar is just over half full. Is there a reason for the space or could I have used 1.75x ingredients?
I’ve used budget ingredients from my local Aldi this time but also want to make a batch with quality ingredients when I have time to shop for them. Will be interesting to compare. Easy recipe but got to wait a few months to see if it’s a great one.

5 stars
Just strained and bottled it ready for tomorrow night’s bonfire party and it tastes lush!!
Thank you for the recipe.

Would I be able to use other fruits like plums, apples, etc. for alternative flavors?

What would happen if I don’t dilute the alcohol with water ?
Could I just use it full strength?