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8 Traditional Drinks Belarusians Love And You Should Try Too

When Belarusians don’t drink tea or coffee, they improvise and make drinks from whatever nature has to offer. 

Let’s have a look at a variety of mouthwatering, refreshing and warming beverages the daring drinkers must try while in Belarus. For your health!

Birch sap

The Belarusians have drunk birch sap (*aka juice or water) for centuries. It has been used in herbal remedies and was pretty popular in Soviet times.

belarus drinks

Now, thanks to the booming demand for healthy foods it’s making an impressive comeback as a new ultimate superfood. Сoconut water, scoot over!

The sap is harvested from the silver birch trees and bottled immediately. The drink tastes close to water, only water with a delicate sweetness.

Ryazhenka

The local drink looks like a yogurt but has a milkier taste with no fruit or berries infusions and tender texture.

It is baked at low oven temperature for up to 6 hours or longer before being finally fermented.

Read also: Not only draniki! 17 Belarusian foods you should definitely try

They say it is extremely good for kids and those who have stomach problems.

Besides,  you can buy it almost anywhere, it is sold both in small shops or huge supermarkets.

Sbiten

Hot, rich, and ancient wintertime honey-based beverage. There are many recipes for sbiten but the classic one includes hot water, jam, honey, cloves, herbs and spices.

For added potency, some use alcohol instead of water, making the sensory assault complete. And, if it’s summer? No problem, just serve it cold instead.

Medovukha

Medovukha resembles sbiten or European Mead but with one small difference, it is stronger and stouter than beer and weaker than wine.

The drinkable honey was made at home and enjoyed year-round. As you might expect, the recipes usually depend on the family making the drink.

Read also: Whose pickles are the best? Belarusian tradition to stock up for winter explained

For some time the drink fell out of favor, but a renewed interest is taking place now. It can be found in a mass market or local cafes with different flavours and alcohol level.

Kompot

Kompot is a mixture of water, slow-boiled fruits (fresh or dry) and berries. The ingredients and spices may vary depending on preferences and the season.

Credit: Legion Media

Brewed from apples, pears, plums, or any other juicy fruit from your garden it is good both in summer and winter.

Mors could be named a cold alternative of kompot. Natural mors can last a week if stored in a cool place.

In essence, this ancient but simple drink is made from berries – cranberries, blueberries, straberries, currants or cherries – and sugar-water.

Kvas

They say kvas is a symbol of summer. This is when barrel-trailers with cold and refreshing drink start appearing on the streets of Belarusian cities.

A non-alcoholic alternative to beer, kvas is brewed from dark rye bread, yeast, herbs, water and some sugar. With mass production, it is readily available all year round at supermarkets too.

Read also: Belarusians show off unbelievably huge veggies from their gardens

However, locals recommend trying a homemade kvas, which is very different from that you’ll find at the shop. Foreigners usually describe it as a mildly sweet drink resembling sparkling cider.

Kisel

Is it a drink or is it a liquid jelly? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Try it just to discover something new!

Credit: Legion Media

Traditional kisel was made from oats boiled in water and baked in a stove before being served cool as a main dish.

You can make it yourself, just take a handful of starch, add some sugar and fruits and berries of your choice.

Add some water and boil until you see it start thickening. Enjoy!