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Top 5 Native Russian Drinks You Should Try
October 9, 2018 12:36


Long before coffee and tea appeared in Russia, the Slavs had used traditional Russian drinks for centuries. Nearly all national Russian drinks are unique and cannot be found in the cuisines of other countries. When you explore Russia, be sure to try kvass, kissel’, sbiten’, mead and vodka.
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Kvass
For many centuries, kvass has enjoyed the unanimous love of the Russian people. Kvass is one of the oldest drinks known to man, an age-old Russian product, which successfully competed with alcoholic beverages, especially beer. 

In the past, every Russian hostess, as a rule, had her own recipe for making kvass.
Kvass is a traditional Russian fermented soft drink on the basis of flour and malt or dry rye bread. Kvass was an integral part of the Russian holiday feasts, especially at weddings. Kvass is still popular as a refreshing drink or the liuid base for traditional cold soups, like okroshka and botvinya, on hot summer days. 
Recipe of Home Kvass
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Kissel’
Kissel’ is another still popular traditional Russian drink.

It is a sweet jelly-like dessert drink cooked from dried or raw fruits and berries, syrups, juices and jams with the addition of corn or potato starch or cereal leaven. Several hundred years ago, oat, wheat, and rye kissels were cooked in Russian homes. With the advent of potato starch, there came to be fruit and berry kissels. Initially, jams, syrups or honey were used instead of sugar for making kissel’. 
Recipe of Honey Kissel'

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Sbiten’
Along with kvass and kissel’, sbiten’ enjoyed special popularity in the good old days in Russia. Sbiten’ is a traditional Russian drink, the main ingredients of which are honey, spices and herbs. It is made by way of boiling honey with cinnamon, hops, cloves, pepper, ginger, bay leaf and nutmeg. Foreign sailors used to refer to Sbiten’ as “Russian mulled wine” in the past. Hot sbiten’ had a wonderful warming effect on cold winter evenings. In addition, Sbiten is known as an excellent sedative and immunity enhancer.
Recipe of Sbiten' with Wine 

Medovukha (Mead aka Honey Wine)
Medovukha is a low alcohol honey drink with a rich history and deep national roots. Mead is the original national drink in Russia, just like whiskey in Scotland, sake in Japan or tequila in Mexico. Thanks to honey, mead gets unsurpassed softness in taste and healing properties. Historically, medovukha was brewed not only with honey, but also with cranberries, birch sap, cherries, and dried lime blossom.


Vodka
The main alcoholic drink for Russians has always been vodka, which appeared in the 15th century.
It was necessarily made from grain and purified spring water.
It is great Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev who is considered to be the father of Russian vodka since he proved that alcohol strength in vodka should be 40% (80 proof). Such a strength provides the uniformity of the drink, has no burning effect and emits the greatest amount of heat when absorbed by the body.
Traditionally, vodka is served with caviar, pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, pickled mushrooms, and spicy or fatty snacks and starters that somewhat cool down its heat.
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Read More Articles about Russian Vodka 
Find More Recipes of Russian National Dishes and Drinks
On the History of Russian Drinks 
More about Russian Drinks 

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Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Drinks Russian Cuisine Gourmet Tours   

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