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5. Sbiten or Russian brew
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia:
Sbiten, also zbiten' (Russian: сбитень, also збитень) is a hot winter Russian traditional drink and it can be both non-alcoholic and alcoholic. It is the perfect antidote for long cold winters, something Russia is famous for.
The word Sbiten comes from the verb "sbit"--to beat or to pound. The herbs and spices are ground in a mortar, and then mixed with honey or molasses. It is allowed to ferment for a short period, and then mixed with water to make a slightly alcoholic drink. It is served hot.
Replacing the water with a good wine makes for a more lively drink, one to be appreciated by all. When it is fortified with brandy or vodka, it makes for a more potent libation.
First mentioned in Slavonic chronicles in 1128, it remained popular with all strata of Russian society until the 19th century when it was replaced by tea. It is being revived in the 21st century as a mass-produced drink in Russia.
Like mead and medovukha, sbiten' is based on honey mixed with water, herbs,and spices. One recipe of sbiten' is described in the 16th-century Domostroy.
Sbiten was known and drunk long before the advent of the samovar. Sbitenshchik (Russian: сбитенщик) was the name for a sbiten' vendor.
Even more specific, the word Khodebshchik (Russian: ходебщик) means a person carrying advertisement hoarding, or hawking his wares round the street, or house-to-house salesman, or trading peddler in 16th–19th centuries in Russia.
Some kind of samovar or its precursor, the sbitennik must have existed in earlier times in order for sbiten to be sold hot on the Russian streets.
Or go back to revisit:
1. About the Samovar
2. Samovar Through History
3. Types of Samovars
4. Abbreviated history
6. Birth of the Samovar