History of Russian drinks

The history of Russian drinks goes back to ancient times. Brine, morsels, kvass, honey, forest teas — their way to our modern table is counted in many centuries. All of them are not similar to each other and have different purposes. Some have a warming effect (spicy teas, honeys, sbitniki) and therefore were used mainly in winter, others (kvass, morses) have a cooling tonic effect on a hot day.

History of Russian drinks

However, there is a common feature in Russian drinks — always natural raw materials and nutritional value.

Syto (Syt)

Syt or Syto is a drink, which was used before the appearance of tea and other modern drinks, performing their function during the pagan Rus. It was thanks to Syto there were such concepts as «fullness», «nourished» and, of course, «plenty» — signifying not only an abundance of food, but a good appetite, which is a sign of good health. Syta, unlike tea, does not change its properties when refrigerated and seasoned, and has its magnificence in its cold form.

Plain rennet

Ingredients: 50-60 grams of honey, 1 liter of water.

Dilute the honey with water, boil, skimming the foam, then strain and cool. The amount of honey can be increased if desired to 150-200 grams per 1 liter of water. To make the spicy satay add a few spices to the water to taste.

Lemon cheesecake

Ingredients: 50-100 grams of honey, the juice of one lemon, 1 liter of water.

Dissolve honey in boiled warm water, cool, add lemon juice, grated peel and let stand in a cold place.

Syta fruit (berry)

Ingredients: 50 g of honey, 1/2 cup of fruit or berry juice, 2 cups of water.

Dissolve honey in boiled warm water, cool, add fruit or berry juice. You can add a little citric acid to the cheese.

Aromatic satay

Prepare sita on broth of oregano, St. John’s wort or other aromatic herbs.


Sbiten was prepared and served in vessels, reminiscent of a samovar, and poured in hollow cups with turned outside edges, which protected them from burning. The copper vessel for «sbitnj» was called sakla or baklaga (depending on the area where it was made), in the middle of the vessel, like the samovar, was a wide pipe filled with hot coals. These vessels served as a prototype of the future samovars.

So how to cook this sbiten, which our great-grandparents loved so much? There are a lot of recipes for sbiten, they differ in components and cooking techniques. Only honey has always been the same component of the drink. In addition, hot honey drink was an excellent sedative, improved mood, facilitated falling asleep, improved immunity and promoted longevity.

Sbitnen is divided into simple and custard. The latter were made by fermenting the mash from honey and molasses with various spices. Sbiten was usually drunk with kalaches and spice cakes.

Sbiten simple

Ingredients: honey — 500 gr, white treacle — 700 gr, spices (cinnamon, cloves, hops, mint) — 5-10 gr.

Boil the water. Add all ingredients, boil for 30 minutes. Drink as hot as tea.

Sbiten Suzdal

Ingredients: honey — 150 grams, sugar — 150 grams, spices — 15 g cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, bay leaf, water — 1 liter.

Mix honey with water and boil for 20 minutes Add spices and boil for another 5 minutes. Then filter the drink through gauze and spice it with burnt sugar.

Sbiten ordinary

Ingredients: water — 1 liter, honey — 1 kg, 4% vinegar — 2 tablespoons, ground ginger — 1 tablespoon, ground black pepper — 1/2 tsp. spoon, grated horseradish root — 1 tablespoon.

Boil hot water with vinegar, ginger, pepper, horseradish for 15-20 minutes, add honey, stir quickly, bring to boil. Serve hot.

Condensed sbiten

Ingredients: honey — 500 gr, molasses — 200 gr, water — 1/2 cup, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg — 1 tbsp. each, bay leaf — 2 pcs.

Grind cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, bay leaf pour into hot water, bring to a boil and insist under cover for 40-60 minutes. Add molasses to the strained broth and boil the mixture to a dark red color. Cool to 30-40 ° C, add honey and mix thoroughly. Pour sbiten in glass jars, cover and store in a dry dark place. To prepare the hot beverage add condensed sbiten in boiling water, stir and serve to the table. Amount of sbiten can be adjusted to taste. Sbiten can be served with lemon, cranberry juice or cream.

Dry sbiten

Ingredients: 1 tbsp. red and black pepper, ginger, coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon, bay leaf.

Spices and bay leaf, chopped and poured into a dry jar, cover tightly and store in a dry place. Before use, pour the prepared powder into boiling water, bring to a boil and insist without heating for 10-15 minutes. Decoction strain, add honey and serve.

Fragrant sbiten

Ingredients: 1 kg of honey take 3-4 liters of water.

Dissolve honey in hot water, boil, remove the foam. Then put the spices wrapped in a clean cloth and boil. The set of spices may include: hops, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, mint, oregano, etc.

Taiga sbiten

Ingredients (1 l sbiten): honey — 100 g, sugar — 75 g, cranberry juice — 100 g, water — 0.8 liters, cloves — 2-3 buds, cardamom — 10-15 pcs. bay leaf.

From the cranberries squeeze the juice and strain. Fill the pulp with water, boil, strain the broth. Cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pour hot water and boil for 12 minutes. Put a bay leaf 5 minutes before the end of boiling. Strain the decoction, add sugar, honey and lingonberry juice and bring to a boil.

Sbiten mint

Ingredients: honey — 3 tablespoons, water — 2 cups, dried mint — 1/2 tsp. spoon, dried raspberry or currant leaves — 1/2 tsp. spoon. dry leaves of mint, raspberry or currant pour boiling water, infuse 25-30 minutes. Strain the decoction, add honey to it. Stir the drink and serve. If desired, you can add lemon. In a hot season sbiten can be served cold.

Sbiten with oregano

Ingredients: honey — 200 g, dried oregano — as desired.

Dissolve honey in hot water, boil, removing the foam. Then drops into it dried oregano, wrapped in a sack, and insist 2-3 hours.

Morses and drinks made from berries

The basis of morses and waters has always been berry juice, in different proportions mixed with water. It is known that the juice of natural berries tastes very sour. To make the product to everyone’s liking it would be necessary to dilute it with water or add sugar, which changes the original useful vitamin-mineral composition. Our ancestors found a solution to this problem. The Slavs began to make of forest berries morsels, in which natural honey was added for sweetness.

Vodka and morses can be consumed as hot, especially in winter, and as a cool drink in summer. Nutrients contained in their fruit and berry base, perfectly quench thirst, refresh, relieve fatigue, give strength and energy, enhance immunity and slow the aging process.

In folk medicine, morsels are used in non-refrigerated form, then the sweet and sour drink will help strengthen the immune system. B vitamins, E, PP, A, folic acid and vitamin C, as well as high levels of potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus in the chemical composition, perhaps the main benefits of morsels for the human body. The most useful recognize the morses of wild berry cranberries or cranberries: cranberries strengthen health, and cranberries help with colds. Morses from blackberries or blueberries will help those who suffer from digestive problems.

What is distinctive, when preparing a morsel based on several kinds of berries, only the energy value increases, but not the caloric value of the morsel.

Berry drink

Ingredients: 150 g cranberries (cranberries, black currant, strawberries, strawberries or raspberries), honey, 1 liter of water.

Fresh berries rinse and squeeze the juice. Pour hot water, boil at a gentle boil for 5-8 minutes and allow to stand for 25-30 minutes. Decoction strain, squeeze the pulp, add honey to the broth and stir until dissolved. Then pour the juice, strain again and cool.

Citrus drink

Ingredients: 1 orange or lemon, 120 grams of sugar, 1 liter of water.

Finely chop citrus peel, pour hot water, boil at a gentle boil for 5 minutes and infuse 3-4 hours. In the strained broth, add sugar, bring to a boil, pour the pre-pressed juice and cool.

Apple-lemon drink

Ingredients: 2-3 apples, honey, 1 lemon, 800 ml of water.

Peel apples from the core and skin, grate and squeeze the juice. Pour water over extracts and peel of apples, add lemon zest, boil for 3-5 minutes, infuse 10-15 minutes and strain. Add honey and bring to the boil. Cool it down and pour in apple and lemon juices.

Beverage of grated currants with honey

Ingredients: 200 grams of grated with sugar black currant, 120 g. honey, 1 g. citric acid, 800 ml of water.

Put honey in warm water, stirring, bring to a boil and remove the foam from the surface. Cool and add citric acid. Rub the currants with sugar into the cooled drink, stir and strain.

Forest aroma drink

Ingredients: 1/2 cup rowanberries, 1/2 cup cranberries, 5 g. fragrant mint, 4 cups water, sugar to taste.

Wash the cranberries, rinse with cold boiling water and squeeze the juice. Cranberry pulp and rowanberries boiled in boiling sugar syrup (with the lid closed), add mint at the end of cooking and let stand for 4-6 hours. Then strain the infusion, add squeezed cranberry juice and cool.

Apple drink with honey

Ingredients: 1 liter apple juice, 1/2 l. water, 1 tbsp. honey, 1/2 lemon.

Stir the honey with boiled, slightly cooled water, add the lemon slices and apple juice.

Drink «Amber»

Ingredients: 150 grams of honey, 250 ml of birch juice, 650 ml of water, 1 g of citric acid.

Dissolve honey in boiling hot water, cool, add the juice and citric acid.

Old Russian Julep

Ingredients: 25 g. mint, 150 g. sugar, 600 g. birch juice, 100 g. lemon juice, 200 g. honey.

Add sugar, honey, lemon juice and mint to the birch juice, cover tightly and put in a cold place for 2-4 hours, then strain. Serve with ice cubes.

Rowan-apple drink

Ingredients: 5 tbsp. rowanberries, 2 apples, 3 tbsp. honey, 1 l of water.

The apples are cut into small cubes (with seeds), put into an enamel pan, pour boiling water and infused for 20 minutes. Mash mountain ash, also pour boiling water and insist 10-15 minutes. Then both infusion strain, mix and add honey. Can be made from both forest and black chokeberry.


The Slavs used to use kissels, which were prepared on the basis of cereals, with oatmeal kissel being the most popular. For its preparation in the modern interpretation, you need oat flakes, sour milk and water.

The recipe for the old Slavic kissel looks as follows:

In warm water you need to add a spoonful of fermented milk, stir, then pour in oat flakes (previously used oatmeal or oat flour) and leave in a warm place for about a day (depending on the amount of sourdough and temperature).

Then the fermented oats are crushed (with a pusher or mixer) and thrown in a colander. We get a paste in the form of thick kefir with a sour milk flavor — oat concentrate.

This liquid is diluted with warm water to the desired consistency and you get the very same oatmeal kissel. It has a good taste and excellent nutritional qualities, which are more pronounced in the raw form. This is a truly magical drink, to which you can add anything you like to taste.

The resulting raw oat concentrate is very well preserved (in the fridge for up to three weeks).

It is very versatile in its application. It can be used as kissel or yogurt, as mayonnaise in salads, as sour cream in soups or okroshka, etc. In addition, you can make sour oatmeal out of fermented oats. By the way, such porridge was in great honor among the ancient Slavs. To make it is very simple. The oats do not boil, and just pour boiling water over them. It will be much tastier and healthier. In this form, oatmeal (with the addition of honey, raisins, lean butter, etc., if desired) is the best breakfast (completely different from the usual oatmeal). So our ancestors did not drink oatmeal kissel for nothing and it is mentioned in many fairy tales deservedly. You can try it too! As you can see it is quite easy to make.

Oatmeal kissel

Sauté the mashed oats in the oven until golden in color. Then put them in a pot, pour cold water over them, and simmer over low heat for half an hour. Then gently drain the kissel from the settled gruel into a clean bowl and let it cool. Kissel should have the thickness of sour cream. You can add honey for sweetness.


According to Slavs, surya drink was considered to purify a human spirit. A set of herbs used for its preparation was very diverse and useful. Surya had a beneficial effect on literally all internal organs of a man. Interesting is that surya was steamed in oven, which also made it a rich and healthy drink. Here is a set of herbs and berries of one of recipes: sour cream, Crimean glanders (Crimean lemongrass), badan leaves, young leaves of burdock (burdock), cloudberries, young golden root (Rhodiola rosea), chamomile, succession, sea buckthorn or linden flower.

Ancient version of the preparation surya

Ingredients: 1 tsp. milk (not subjected to heat treatment, NOT from the store) brewed in a small amount of water. 1 tsp. elecampane (herb), 1 tsp. mugwort, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tbsp. honey.

Allow the herbs to infuse. Add to milk (you can not cool) a couple of tbsp. pure decoction. Cork it tightly, so it does not fall off (screw jars). We put in a dark warm place. The drink ferments for about 3 days. During fermentation beverage should be shaken 2-3 times a day.

An easier recipe: 1 liter of milk, 1 tbsp. honey, 1/4 tsp. wormwood, 1-2 tsp. chamomile. If desired and to taste, you can add 6-7 berries rose hips, 1/2 teaspoon birch leaves, 1/4 teaspoon melissa. Boil the herb in 0.5 cup of water. Strain the decoction and pour into the milk (brewed herb can not be cooled, the surya will ferment faster and will be more gentle). Leave it for 2-3 days. The drink is ready when it sizzles slightly when poured into the mug.