If you've never had hon (translating to authentic or original) mirin, you are in for a real surprise.
This rich, viscous amber-colored mirin was fermented for 90 days using traditional methods that have not changed since ancient times and then aged for about three years, delivering a deep sweetness and complex flavor. Mirin can be further aged in the bottle and will continue to evolve and concentrate.
Mirin is recommended not only for Japanese dishes such as mentsuyu, simmered dishes, and vinegared dishes, but also for adding flavor to sweets such as dorayaki, hot cakes, and castella. It's a fantastic, complex sweetener for cocktails and makes a mean eggnog, milk punch or spiked coffee. Served over ice with a bitter accompaniment such as nuts or cocoa nibs, mirin is also delicious on its own.
- Brewery: Hakusen Shuzo
- Rice: Local (Hida, Takayama, Gifu)
- Location: Gifu
- Ingredients: rice shochu (distilled in house), local glutinous rice, koji, yeast
For an excellent background on this traditional brewery, I can do no better than the experts at Oishi so Japan. Check out their article and brewery tour. It's fascinating!