Hand-squeezed and Aged Mirin by Grandfather's Recipe

Sugiura Mirin has an extraordinary history. The grandson of the founder revitalized the business by using his grandfather's original recipe, using traditional labor-intense machines and fresh ingredients from local farmers. Not only did he succeed in spreading their authenthic, natural mirin, in a highly mass-produced market, but he also discovered a unique product: dark, aged mirin with an intense, sweet flavor that is one of a kind and will make your taste buds dance!


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In Taisho 13, the founder's grandfather: Sugiura Sadajiro founded his own business in Hekinan City, Aichi Prefecture. When he passed away in his mid-40s, his son was only 4-5 years old, so his wife took over instead. When their son, Masahiko Sugiura, came of age, he took over the business and tremendously grew the business. 


The traditional way to make mirin, with a strong, authenthic taste, is by hand; It takes a long time to make with only three types of rice: glutinous rice, rice koji, and rice shochu.
In the era of mass production, the focus is often on how cheaply food can be produced, with neither sellers or buyers care about who or who it was made. Traditional businesses like Sugiura are comitted to keep the production process and real flavors alive for people to enjoy. 


When the grandson of the founder, Yoshinobu Sugiura, finally took over the business he found it was on the verge of bankruptcy. Walking around the factory considering whether it could be saved, he found a very old, partly destroyed note from his grandfather; the original recipe for his mirin with his passionate comments written beside it. Yoshinobu decided there and then to do everything he can to succeed in his grandfather's dream.  

Yoshinobu bought an old-fashioned hand squeezing machine, negotiated with local farmers to purchase raw rice directly, and secured rice shochu, which is the most important part of Mikawa mirin.


Relying on the memory and intuition of the only craftsman who had experience in old making at the company, he started the mission to revitalize the business - the old way!


In the beginning not all mirin sold and matured at the factory, turning dark and black; a color that had never been seen before in the industry. When trying it, they were suprised by its sweet and intense flavor. As by miracle, this experience resulted in a brand new line-up, still made with the traditional techniques. Three-years matured mirin is now their signature product. 

The note from this grandpa now hangs proudly in their production room. 


Prepare the Rice koji: Wash the glutinous rice → Soak in water for half a day → Steam → Let the rice cool → Attach seed bacteria→ Hands are inserted to stimulate the growth of bacteria → While adjusting and managing the temperature and humidity, it takes 3 days to complete the rice koji.

Prepare the glutinous rice: Was, soak and steam → Remove the steamed rice from the kettle with a scoop → let cool and mix with the rice koji and shochu and put it in the tank.

Mature: At Sugiura the "moromi" is aged for at least 6 months.

For the final product: 
Put the moromi in a hemp bag called a "sake bag" → Squeeze with an old-fashioned pressing machine (Sase type) → Arrange the bags containing the crumbs in the tank of the press → line up the bags and start the squeezing.
 The squeezed mirin is filtered and bottled. The left over pulp in the bags (lees) can also be used.