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Sbiten

During the winter months, everybody craves a delicious hot beverage such as hot chocolate, tea, and cider. But what if you want to try something different? In Russia, Sbiten (Russian, сбитень) is a traditional honey-based beverage consumed during the long winter months. It's actually very simple to prepare and tastes a lot like fruity tea. Here's how to prepare this comforting drink.
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of pure honey
  • 1 tsp of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 16 ounces (1 lblackberry jam
  • 10 1/4 cups water or wine
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 mint leaf optional

Alternative Recipe #1

  • ml Makes 750 or 1 wine bottle's worth
  • 3-1/3 cups water
  • 2 cups honey
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 dried red chile peppers optional
  • 2 tablespoons apricot or raspberry jam

Alternative Recipe #2

  • 3 L water
  • 250 g honey
  • 350 g molasses
  • 5 g mix of spices - cinnamon malt, cloves, mint

Instructions

  • Bring 10 1/4 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add the ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, honey and homemade blackberry jam and stir gently.
  • Turn the heat down to about medium-low and bring it to a simmer. Stir the mixture for 6 minutes then take the pot off the stove.
  • Let cool for 2 minutes. Afterward, ladle the hot beverage into 10 mugs.
  • Garnish with a homemade mint leaf candy and enjoy!

Notes

Alternate Recipe 1

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisk occasionally. Mixture will be slightly foamy.
3. Serve in small glasses with a cinnamon stick for garnish.
 

Alternate Recipe 2

1. Bring the water to a boil in a pot.
2. Melt honey into the water.
3. Add all other ingredients.
4. Simmer for half an hour.
5. Serve.
 
Tips This is best served hot, but the drink can be refrigerated and served cold in the summer, or reheated for serving later. You can make an alcoholic version by substituting a hearty red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon) for water.[1]