Shochu is a Japanese spirit that dates back to the 16th century and is still enjoyed today; consumption of the "fiery liquor" in Japan rivals that of sake. But unlike its rice wine cousin, shochu is a distilled spirit that can be made from barley, sweet potatoes, wheat, or rice. There are thousands of varieties, and the liquid itself is quite adaptable: it can be drank hot, cold, on the rocks, or neat. Haamonii is the first American producer of shochu, and their version of the spirit has a pleasant floral flavor. Free of gluten and sulfites, and lower in calories than most vodkas (62 calories per 1.5-oz serving), shochu is aspiring to gain traction in the American beverage market.