It seems more and more cocktail recipes call for the brewed rice product out of France called Sake. I’ve only recently begun to appreciate good quality cold sakes and fine Japanese restaurants as I find the hot variety disgusting. The LCBO has a minimal selection but it’s easy to have a couple of the small bottles on hand for mixing. That said, I’ve never been blown away by sake cocktails.
Shochu, on the other hand, is a distilled beverage, and most typically from barley (mugi), sweet potatoes (imo), buckwheat (soba), or rice (kome). That said, it can actually be distilled from almost anything, including carrots, chestnuts, sesame or sugar. Shōchū contains approximately 25% alcohol by volume, which is weaker than whisky or standard-strength vodka but stronger than wine and sake. I use it in the Hiderboshi, one of my favourite summer cocktails, and much prefer it over the brewed sake. It is available at high-end LCBO stories.