Before Russians discovered coffee, black and green tea, theydrank their traditional Russian drinks, which are in no wayinferior in their taste, magnificence and healing power. Almost allprimordially Russian drinks cannot be found in any othernational cuisine. First of all, they aresbitni, kvasses, fruit drinks, honey, whey with raisins and boiled cabbage juice, aswell as tea from dried leaves of fireweed, that is, willow-tea.
Russians drank their own tea, which was based on a variety of herbs: mint, nettle, Ivan tea,etc Chinese merchants tried to promote their tea in Russia, but it failed. Chinese Tea reached the Russian people during the reign of Catherine II.
The official term “vodka“ appeared rather late. The term appeared the first time in the decree of Elizabeth I. Before this decree, the drink was called boiled or combustible wine. It was an alcoholic drink with additional tastes and color: bread spirit consisting of herbs, berries or spices, and then distilled, getting a serious 45 percent alcohol content. Catherine the Great in 1765, by her decree, banned the production of vodka to all classes, except the nobility. Merchants, bourgeoisie, clergy and peasantry were obliged only to buy vodka.
Initially, Medovuha was simply called “honey“ in Russia. Oak barrels filled with honey were put under the ground for from 5 to 20 years. From the 11th century, honey began to be brewed, it reduced the long-term period of producing Medovuha. The drink was used in baptisms and remembrance. Today, the traditions of Medovuha are preserved in the small town of the Vladimir region – in Suzdal. I will never forget the impact of this drink on me. From my point of view, this drink is stronger than Vodka, and tastier.
This is my favourite winter drink, which foreign sailors called “Russian mulled wine”, and appeared in Russia a thousand years ago. The traditional ingredients are honey, bay leaf, ginger, sage, chilli, and wine. Street vendors, as a rule, traded it without the wine. Such a drink for a long time replaced tea and coffee. Sbiten became widespread in Russia until the twentieth century. Sbiten, drunk only hot, perfectly warmed those who drankiton cold winter days. Nowadays it is possible to drink cold sbiten. You will find my favourite recipe in my book. In addition, this hot honey drink is an excellent sedative, it improves one’s mood, facilitates sleep, increases immunity and contributes to longevity.
What is your favourite drink? Did you taste these Russian drinks? Or probabl