Almost all Russian national beverages are original and cannot be found in any other national cuisine. They are sbiten, kvass, medok, mors, voditsa, boiled cabbage juice, whey with raisins
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Almost all Russian national beverages are original and cannot be found in any other national cuisine. They are sbiten, kvass, medok, mors, voditsa, boiled cabbage juice, whey with raisins. Many of them are no longer made. For many centuries they were used as table drinks, i.e. to take with dishes from meat and game, sweet porridges, and also for dessert. Sbiten is a completely independent beverage that was widely used in Russia until replaced by tea.
The most ancient beverage is honey, or medok which should not be mixed up with so-called stavlenny honey: medok is prepared on water with a little honey and hop, stavlenny honey is a strong alcoholic beverage with a lot of berry juice, honey and vodka.
Voditsa and mors are based on berry juice mixed in various proportions with water and slightly brewed. Whey is insisted on raisin and also a little brewed. Cabbage juice (fresh, but more often sour from sauerkraut) is boiled with a little sugar. These are short-storage drinks used in small amounts in home conditions.
However, kvass and sbiten have always been mass drinks. Kvass is especially common with dozens of varieties.


1L water
250-270g honey
5g hop
1 capsule cardamom
1 tsp burnt sugar
10g yeast

Boil honey in 2 litres of water, skim. Boil hop separately in 0.5L of water. Combine and add boiled water. Chill down to warm, add yeast, burnt sugar, cardamom, and leave for open brewing (closing only with gauze or coarse calico) at below 10 C until the foam appears on the surface. After removing the foam, filter and drink or leave in bottles and drink within 1-2 weeks.

Suzdal Sbiten

150g honey
150g sugar
15g cloves
15g cinnamon
15g ginger
15g cardamom
15g bay leaf
1L water

Combine honey with water and boil 20 min, add spices and boil 5 minutes more. Then filter the drink through gauze and tint with burnt sugar.

Northern Kvass

3.2kg rye flour of simple grinding
16kg Icelandic moss flour

Variant 1. Combine rye flour and Icelandic moss flour with hot water, make dense dough and bake bread. Chill it down, break into pieces, put them in a brewing dish, add 25 litres of boiling water, cover with a clean cloth, and leave for 4-6 days. Filter the prepared and clarified kvass carefully into a clean dish, then pour into bottles, cork and store in the fridge. The bottles should be stored horizontally.
Variant 2. Naturally, not everybody can find Icelandic moss, although northerners living in the countryside can. If you fail, you can make kvass from rye bread. For this, put 5kg bread, 30g black currant leaves and 600g sugar in a tub with 9L boiled water, cover this with a cloth and leave in a warm place for 3-4 hrs. Carefully pour the cooled mash into a clean keg, add yeast ferment and put in a cold place for 2-3 days. After souring, filter the kvass, boil a few minutes, skimming periodically, and filter through several layers of gauze while hot. Pour the chilled kvass in bottles, cork and wire, and put in the refrigerator. The kvass is ready in 7 days.
The yeast ferment is prepared the following way: combine warm kvass mash or kvass with wheat flour to make not very dense dough. Add a little dry baking yeast dissolved in warm water. Stir dough and yeast, leave to rise, and then add to the brewing mash.

Cherry Kvass

4kg ripe cherries
300g sugar
35-40g raisins
8L water

Put rinsed and cored cherries in an enamelled saucepan, add water in the 1:2 ratio and boil until the water becomes dark-red. Filter the hot juice through several layers of gauze into an enamelled, glass or better wooden dish, add sugar, raisins, cover with cloth and leave to brew. When the juice starts brewing, pour it into bottles like apple kvass.

Apple Compote

6-8 medium-sized apples
1 1/3 cups sugar
about 50g grape wine
citric acid on a tea spoon tip
cinnamon to taste
5 cup water

Select good apples or pears, rinse (peel if skin is thick), slice into segments, remove core and put in water with a little citric acid. Put the peel and core in a separate dish, add five cups of water and boil 10-12 min, then filter the broth and add sugar. Put the prepared segments of apples or pears in the resulting syrup and cook at low boiling 6-8 minutes. You can add lemon or orange peel or cinnamon as a flavourer, and after the compote chills down - a little grape wine as a conditioner. Softer sorts of apples (aport, antonovka) and pears (duchess, etc.) are prepared a little differently. Put the prepared apples and pears in a non-oxidizing dish, add boiling syrup and chill, then carefully take out with a skimmer, put in portion dishes and fill with syrup.

Cherry Compote

600g cherries
1 1/3 cups sugar
about 50g grape wine
citric acid on a tea spoon tip
cinnamon to taste
5 cups water

Add selected and rinsed berries to the boiling sugar syrup boiled on water with citric acid, then stop heating and chill the compote down completely. You can add a little grape wine to the chilled compote.

Folk Sbiten

1kg honey
20g hop
spices to taste
4L water

Dissolve honey in boiled water, add hop and spices and boil 2-3 hrs. Filter and chill boiled sbiten. This sbiten is drunk cold, like kvass.

Cowberry Compote

300g cowberries
3-4 apples
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 cups water

Rinse, peel, slice and core winter apples. Make syrup from boiled peel and core (same way as for bilberry kissel). Put apple slices in the syrup, bring to boil, add soaked cowberry and chill.

Ashberry Drink

100-150g ashberries
1.5L water
4 tbsp honey

Remove bad berries, rinse ashberries in warm water and put them in a saucepan, pour water so that it covers the berries. Boil 15 minutes. Drain the water into a separate dish, press berries with a wooden pestle, press out, pour the juice into the drained water, add honey, boiled water (the remaining water), and put back on heat. After the syrup starts boiling, add pressed berries and boil 5 minutes. Chill the prepared drink

Cranberry Kissel With Nuts

1/2-1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup nuts

Bon appetite!
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