We have already told you about Ukrainian cuisine, which is quite varied. Still, Ukrainian beverages will hardly concede the right to be the national pride, since each of them has its own history and is drunk on special occasions. Many of them are still prepared keeping the traditions alive. So, as you have already guessed, this article is devoted to the brightest, most interesting and delicious Ukrainian beverages you must not miss when you come to Ukraine.
Our ABC starts with letter “K” and the first drink we will talk about is called Kalinnik. It is more than two hundred years old and has a lot of recipes. It is made with viburnum, sugar and water. All the ingredients are mixed together and stay in a cold place for one week. After that, it is strained and drunk to still thirst or as a therapeutic drink.
- Kissel. It is one of the most favorite Ukrainian beverages made with almost anything: fruit, berries, milk, rhubarb. This drink has a lot of varieties which differ from each other with their consistency: from thick jelly to a usual drink. The main ingredient (fruit, berries, etc) is blended, mixed with sugar and water and boiled. Then kissel has to be cooled. It has to be drunk cold as a dessert after dinner.
- Medovukha is an alcohol drink, which has come to us from the times of Kyiv Rus. It is made with water, honey and raisins. Medovukha is usually drunk at holidays or on special occasions.
- Ryazhanka. Though strange it may seem this scary word stands for usual yoghurt. However, ryazhanka has no flavors. It first appeared in Ukraine a couple of centuries ago. It is made with milk and cream, which are mixed and boiled together. Ryazhanka is considered to be a good therapeutic drink as well as the medium to still thirst in hot weather.
- Sita is probably one of the oldest sweet Ukrainian beverages, which has come to us from the Stone Age. People used to mix water and wild bees honey and drink this sweet liquid. Later it was added to kutya (one of traditional Christmas dishes) and now it is mostly drunk to prevent colds.
- Spotykach is an alcoholic tincture which takes a lot of time to prepare, but is absolutely delicious. It appeared in Ukraine in 18 century and by now has developed the best taste. Spotykach is made with vodka, spices and sugar, which are mixed and boiled together. This drink is usually drunk at dinner or in the circle of good friends.
- Uzvar. Speaking of refreshing Ukrainian beverages, we cannot help mentioning uzvar, which is, in fact, a usual compote, made with dried fruit, water and honey. Uzvar is a traditional Christmas and other religious holidays drink, which can be drunk at any time. Still it is especially good in hot weather.
- Varenukha appeared in Ukraine in 16 century. It is a strong alcoholic drink, usually vodka or hooch, mixed with dried fruit, honey and spices, which are put into a clay container. A piece of brown bread is used instead of the lid and the edges are covered with dough to make the container hermetical. Then it is put into oven for 10-12 hours. Varenukha can be drunk both hot and cold on any occasion.
- The last of the Ukrainian beverages we will talk about is yagodanka. Nobody knows how this drink appeared for sure, still people say that once someone wanted to drown berries in water and then add some sugar and yeast. As a result, they received a mixture, which was refreshing and toning up. Since that time, varenukha has taken its place in Ukrainian cuisine as dinner aperitif.