SHOCHU is distilled, NOT fermented like SAKE. Similar to SAKE, it is made from rice, water and KOJI, but it contains an additional "BASE INGREDIENT", which adds special flavors during distillation. The most notable "BASE INGREDIENTS" are YAMS, SOBA (BUCKWHEAT), BARLEY, and RICE. SHOCHU can be flavored with other sources such as KUDZU, COFFEE, SHISO (Japanese mint), CHESTNUTS, and DARK SUGAR. As you can imagine, the use of different raw materials gives a startlingly distinct bouquet and a unique essence to the final product.