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Author Notes: Most Russian beverages are unique and don’t have analogues in other cuisines of the world. Believe it or not, but not only vodka is the favorite drink in Russia. Such drinks like Kvass, Sbiten, Vishnevka, Nalivka, Mors, and many others are popular since Ancient times; they were used for better digestion and as remedy for a cold.
Here is a recipe for a delicious drink that is perfect for hot summer days or cold winter evenings.
Serves 8 to 10
- 1 cup dried prunes pitted
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 2 cups apple slices dried or fresh
- 1 cup dried cherries (pitted)
- 11/2 cups dried pears
- 1 cup fragrant honey
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 4 Whole cloves
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 qt Apple Cider
- Juice & peel of 1 lemon (more if needed)
- 2 cups Madera wine
- Combine the fruit in a large pot and fill with all of the cider and Madera (dried fruits absorb a lot of liquid). Add the cloves, cinnamon, Star Anise& lemon peel.
- Simmer until the larger pieces are cooked but not falling apart. Strain only the liquid into another pot, discard the spices, and cook until reduced by 1/3rd. Mix-in honey, lemon juice, and then add back the fruits (optional).
- Taste, and add more lemon juice if needed. It should not be too sweet; it’s tastier when the fruit taste dominates. Serve warm in cold weather or icy-cold when it’s hot. This drink looks beautiful in crystal or clear glass mugs.
- You can top each mug with sparkling water or wine. If desired, use a different variety of fruits and spices. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Soda Fountain Recipe