Introducing the Ginger and Apple Mirin Cordial – Another Drinkable Way to Enjoy This Traditional Japanese Cooking Staple
Last October, American food professionals visited fermented food producers to deepen their knowledge of Japanese fermentation culture during the “Hakko Tourism in Japan” tour campaign. As part of the tour, organizers held a tasting session where guests gave candid advice from the perspective of the American market to food product manufacturers looking to enter the United States market.
Previously, Hakko Hub introduced mirin’s origins as a beverage in its own right and as a helpful tool to beat the summer heat when mixed into cocktails.
Beverages made with mirin aren’t limited to the hotter months, though. Here is a mirin concoction perfect for fall and winter.
The ginger and apple mirin cordial
The definition of a cordial can vary, but nowadays refers to a sweet, sometimes syrupy beverage – with or without added alcohol. Historically, a cordial was a concentrated drink made by soaking herbs in alcohol or soaking raw seasonal herbs and fruits in syrup and was administered as a medicinal tonic.
Mirin, itself rather sweet, makes for an unexpectedly perfect cordial ingredient and can be used instead of sugars and syrups for a no-sugar-added beverage great for cold seasons and the holidays.
Cordial made using mirin (produced from rice and fermentation, just like sake) is low on the glycemic index and is said to help with fatigue. Sweet, boozy and good for you — What’s not to like?
Cordial made from Mirin includes glucose as the main sugar ingredient and also includes 17 kinds of amino acids. This sweet, nourishing drink may just help energize your body and mind, all while tasting delicious.
The below recipe also calls for boiling the mirin, removing its natural alcohol content and making it safe for drinkers of all ages.
Makes approximately 250ml ginger and apple mirin cordial
- 1 apple
- 50g (1.8oz) ginger
- 50ml (1.7oz) honey
- 200ml (6.8oz) mirin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice to taste
- 2-3 pieces, or more cardamom or clove to taste
- 1 leaf, or more bay leaf to taste
You can also store the strained ingredients in a jar along with the cordial. This concoction can then be made into a paste for a delicious pork rub!
It can also be mixed with black tea for a beverage that’s a dead ringer for chai.
Maho Tanabe, the organizer of "Mirin Sweets and Fermented Foods" at Minamoto Shokudo, is an inner beauty planner and owner of Minamoto cafeteria. With expertise in fermented foods using koji and sake, she is a recognized authority in the fermented foods industry.