Every nation has its peculiar national food and drinks. For example, the Britons are associated with the tea, and the Germans are famous worldwide for their beer. Thus, Ukraine is the land of ancient Ukrainian drinks – produced by the method of natural fermentation. Non-alcoholic drinks (uzvar, kvas, tea) and Ukrainian traditional alcoholic drinks (medovuha, pepper vodka and of course horilka) create understanding of drinking culture of the country. It’s a paradox for foreigners that when Ukrainian people drink hard drinks they say “Na zdorovie” (For health).
Ukrainian alcoholic drinks
Ukrainian hard drinks are represented by medovuha, pepper vodka and of course well-known horilka. It should be noted that in 2015 the country took the second place in TOP 10 most drinking countries following only coterminous Belarus. An average index was 17,47 per citizen.
Horilka is a Ukrainian vodka. It appeared in XIV century. It is believed that it has been prepared since the time of the Zaporizhzhya Sich. It means that already in XVI century, horilka has become an essential part of Ukrainian culture. Cossacks liked a strong drink and drank it with pleasure. This old Ukrainian tradition of drinking Ukrainian horilka has preserved until now.
Medovuha – is a low-alcohol beverage made by fermentation followed by the addition of honey. Usually its strength reaches 10-16%. From the times of Kievan Rus to Peter I when preference was given to vodka and foreign wines, Medovuha always remained a traditional Slavic alcoholic beverage. There was a tradition to brew this drink for the newlyweds. No other strong drinks at the wedding were allowed.
Pepper vodka is an alcoholic beverage obtained by mixing vodka with pepper and infusing the mixture for a certain period of time. Ukrainian honey pepper vodka is famous not only for excellent burning taste, but also a curative effect. It can be used as a means of preventing colds. Nemiroff is a Ukrainian manufacturers of alcoholic production which is well-known worldwide for a good quality of drinks. The most famous product of this brand – vodka “Ukrainian Honey Pepper”.
Ukrainian non-alcoholic drinks
Usually they are very tasty and healthy, prepared from natural products. Their recipes pass from generation to generation. Any national drink eventually becomes popular in other nations. The Ukrainians has many unique beverages.
Kissel is a traditional Ukrainian drink. The story of kissel is lost in centuries. No one knows exactly when it appeared in Ukrainian cuisine. It is considered that people began to prepare the drink at the same time, when we learned to cultivate crops. As in the old days kissel was prepared not from fruits or berries like nowadays, but from wheat, oats, rye, and even peas. Ukrainian kissel was so popular that there was even a special profession a “kissel producer”.
Uzvar is a very ancient drink of Ukrainian origin from dried fruits (apples and pears) and berries. Uzvar preparation – is the tradition of the Ukrainian people. During Christmas holidays it necessarily should be on the table along with kutya. These dishes are symbols of the birth of Jesus Christ. In ancient times, in families where the child was born, they always cooked uzvar for guests. Western Ukraine is believed to be the place of uzvar origin. But its popularity has long gone beyond its limits. The citizens of all the regions of the country prepare this drink on Christmas. Moreover, it is very salubrious.
Ukrainian kvass – is one of the best non-alcoholic beverages. It has no equal in taste and nutritional quality. Invented more than a thousand years ago, kvass has been popular for now. In Russ, the first written mention of kvass dates back to 989. Kvass, which is made from rye and barley malt, has not only a high taste, but invigorates and normalize metabolic processes in the body. According to the effects on the body it is similar to kefir, sour milk, koumiss. Kvass prevents the growth of harmful germs, raises the tone of the body and has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. In Russ kvass always was popular. It was brewed in monasteries and soldiers’ barracks, in the hospitals and clinics, in country estates. Kvass receipt was known in every house. Centuries of experience has shown that kvass contributes to health.
Carpathian tea – is the landmark of the Carpathians. This tea is prized not only for its useful effect on the organism, but also for the rich taste and aroma, which is able to take you to the mountain plains of the Carpatian, in the traditional kolyby and the origin land of the Carpathian tea.
Culture of drinking in Ukraine has a lot of peculiarities. These beverages are simple enough in preparation, therefore it is possible to make Ukrainian drinks by your own and feel a traditional Ukrainian soul.