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Plum wine gets thumbs up for healthy drink

Date Posted: 2010-05-14

When an alcoholic beverage can get rave reviews as something as healthy as medicine in its consumers, distillers smile.

That’s the case with plum wine, a popular drink using fresh apricots and Okinawan Awamori to create a somewhat sweet and pleasant taste. The distilling process mixes fresh apricot extract into Okinawa’s homegrown distilled drink that rivals Japanese sake, and officials tout its goodness as being “as effective as use of medicine.”

The apricot came to Okinawa from China in about 300 A.D., when it was used only as a medicine. Starting in the 16th century its use expanded to preserved food with salt, or as a home remedy. Doctors say apricots can protect people from diabetes.

Locally, Helios Distillery is making Plum Wine with Okinawan fresh citrus fruits blended into its fresh awamori. The beverage is ranked with a 12% alcohol content, and is sold in 720ml bottles. The company also makes two other forms of Plum wine, one blended with brown sugar and awamori, and a plain Plum wine. Helios officials say they’re also rated at 12% alcohol content.

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