People often refer to shochu as Japan's version of vodka, which can be understood as shochu is often brewed from barley and potato. Shochu also has a higher alcohol content when compared with sake, however, it is only around 25% to 45% proof, where vodka has a alcohol content of around 80%! Another similarity to vodka, shochu is also a clear liquor which works great in cocktails, with a mixer or on the rocks.