My inspiration for this cocktail comes from the flavors I discovered upon tasting Akashi Tai Umeshu Plum Sake for the first time.

I wanted to honor the notes of honey and (of course) plum that were deliciously forward in my tasting experience. My mother is a special fan of these two flavors, and I wanted to honor her with this drink. She has lived a most interesting life as the child of an Air Force dad, with time in both Japan and Hawaii before settling in Wilmington, Ohio. Hearing some of her life stories has imparted in me a sense of curiosity about the world and a real thirst for knowledge. Each element of this cocktail is a symbol of something she has taught me or a story she has told.

The title of the drink comes from the popular English idiom “mum’s the word” meaning to keep silent and not reveal what you know. It can be traced to Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2 when the character Hume says, “seal up your lips, and give no words but mum.” But as my mother taught me, our thoughts and stories shouldn’t be left untold. So, the word is out. And that word is plum!

Plum’s the Word, cocktail with garnish, blue velvet back

Plum’s the Word

Photo by Brandon Lee Dobashi

Plum’s the Word

By Megan Marshall


  • 1 oz. Akashi Tai Umeshu Plum Sake
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. lime
  • 1/2 oz. Li Hing Mui-Honey Syrup*
  • 2-3 dashes Aromatic Bitters
  • Slices of fresh plum (for garnish)

Preparation:  Add all ingredients to a shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with slices of fresh plum. *Li Hing Mui Honey Syrup: Bring 1 cup of honey, 1/2 cup of water, and 1 tsp of Li Hing Mui Powder to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for approximately five minutes stirring frequently.

Meet Megan Marshall

CHILLED 100 Member, New York

Raised in Cincinnati, Megan has been working in hospitality for over 10 years, hustling her way into pretty much every restaurant role. But what started as a way to pay for college tuition, has quickly evolved into a passion project and career.

While studying theatre at the College-Conservatory of Music Megan discovered that hospitality could offer her three distinct, critically important spaces in life: one for endless imagination and creativity, one for constant learning and education, and one for meeting a diverse group of people.

The first came about while working as a bartender/barista/sandwich-maker at a café where she began experimenting with flavors and combinations, finding new ways (and sources) to excite the palate. In 2014 she travelled to NYC with the intention to begin a career as a professional stunt woman but found she couldn’t shake the lure of hospitality. So, she changed course and spent the next 5 years working up the ranks, seeking out all the industry people she could find to learn from them.

Eventually she landed gigs in Harlem at Uptown Bourbon and Penny Jo’s, imaginative, energetic bars filled with people from all walks of life where she could solidify a creative voice. She continues this growth at her new spot in the East Village, Ama Raw Bar, where she is exploring the importance of human connection.

Most of her cocktail inspirations stem from an emotion, a feeling, a memory, or an energy. Though her career as a stunt woman fell flat, her career as a bartender has taken her further than she could ever have imagined. Winner of Old Forester’s 2020 Battle of the Boroughs Competition and Week One Semi-Finalist in Chilled Magazine’s Toast to the Service Industry, she is currently studying at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service.

Megan calls herself a multifaceted, hilariously complicated, ambitious creature who would really like to make you a drink (and possibly give you a hug).

Megan Marshall - Chilled 100 Member, NY, headshot at bar

Megan Marshall – Chilled 100 Member, NY

Photo by Brandon Lee Dobashi