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Russian Drinks


Kvas Ц the bread based sweet beverage. The most popular original beverage in Russia. Kvass (Russian: квас) (Ukrainian: квас) ("leaven") is a fermented non-alcoholic or mildly alcoholic beverage popular in Russia, Ukraine other Eastern European countries.
Kvass has been a common drink in Russia since ancient times. It has been both a commercial product and homemade. It is consumed widely in Ukraine, and in almost every city there are kvas vendors on the street.

It is made by the natural fermentation of whatever vegetable product is available. Fruits and berries were probably the first for this use. A notable raw material for kvass is birch sap, collected in the early spring. Grain suits well for this purpose, for example, wheat, rye, or barley (common or table kvass).

For modern homemade kvass, most often black or rye bread is used, usually dried or fried beforehand, with the addition of sugar or fruit (e.g. apples), and with yeast added for fermentation.
In strength kvass can be almost non-alcoholic and at its strongest is only around 2.2%. It can often be flavoured with other fruits or herbs such as strawberries or mint.
Russians also use kvass for cooking special summer cold soup - "okroshka".
In urban Russia, Kombucha (a beverage that became popular in Russia since the start of 20th century) is sometimes referred to as "tea kvass" or (incorrectly) simply as "kvass", although these two drinks taste different.

Medovuha Ц the honey based sweet alcohol beverage

Kompot - boiled water with fruits and sugar, served cold

Prostokvasha Ц the milk based acid beverage, served cold


Samogon Ц home made vodka, with the strong smell

Vodka is the national drink of Russia. The basic types of vodka have no additional flavouring but the Russians like to flavour their vodka with cranberries, lemon peel, pepper or herbs. When you are drinking vodka in Russia you must eat something along with it such as sour cucumber, pickled mushrooms, black bread or salt herring.

Beer is as popular in Russia as it is in Europe. Russian beer is still made by the traditional home brewing methods and are of a very high standard. Kvas is a summer drink made from fermented rye bread. It is a very light beer and has a licorice taste with a low alcohol content.

Tea (Chai) and Coffee. Russia are one of the three top tea drinking nations along with Britain and Japan. Tea is mostly drunk black and sugar and lemon can be added for taste. Tea is kept in a samovar which is a portable water boiler and when the tea is needed, it is made in a small teapot. In Russia people drink tea as often as possible with a sweet cake and a small dish of fruit conserve. Coffee is a common drink in Russia but is not popular. Most people still drink tea though there are still quite a few coffee drinkers in Russia today.

Wine. Russia is the world's third largest wine producer, with more than three million acres of vineyards in the south of the country. People that live in the northern regions of Russia like to drink vodka but they also drink fortified wines, like port, sherry and madeira, but these are sweetened with sugar. Most of the wine produced in Russia stays in the country but some that are transported include red sparkling Tsimlanskoye Champanskoe and Anapa Riesling. The popular white wines are Tsinandali and Gourdzhuani. The heavy reds are Mukuzani and Saperavi. The classic summer wines are Aligote and Riesling while Cabernet and Romanesti are the types of traditional wine that can be laid down to age and are kept for special occasions. All the wine growing areas, produce excellent brandy as well.

Beer is as popular in Russia as it is in Europe. Russian beer is still made by the traditional home brewing methods and are of a very high standard. Kvas is a summer drink made from fermented rye bread. It is a very light beer and has a licorice taste with a low alcohol content.



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