Mirin is a type of Japanese rice wine which is used for cooking. (The other type, sake, is used both for drinking and cooking. It's much drier than mirin, which is quite sweet.) Mirin is clear and golden and kind of thick. It's made from mixing freshly steamed Japanese mochigome rice with rice yeast and shochu (liquor); the resulting mixture is then fermented. Mirin is sold in two varieties, hon mirin and shin mirin, but if you live in the west most likely you'll only find the latter, which is very low in alcohol (about 1%); hon mirin contains about 14% alcohol. Except for the alcohol, the two varieties taste the same. Mirin is used in a variety of sauces, soups, and glazes in Japanese cooking, including teriyaki.