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What to Drink in Russia? Most popular Russian Drinks


When most people think of drinks in Russia, they think of vodka. While vodka is certainly prevalent amongst Russian drinks and something you must try while visiting, there are many other unique beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, that you’ll only find in Russia that you’d be missing out on if you didn’t try.

Here are the drinks to drink while in Russia, starting with the most famous of them all.

  1. Vodka

Vodka has been a popular Russian spirit since the 15th century. Dmitri Mendeleev is considered Russia’s father of vodka and is the one who said it should be precisely 40% alcohol. At this strength, it doesn’t burn yet gives a warming sensation. It’s ideal served chilled alongside caviar and pickled vegetables as well as spicy and fatty dishes. For Russians, meeting up at the bar and having a little bit to eat with a shot of vodka to round it out is customary.

  1. Sbiten
  2. Sbiten

This hot drink is made mostly in the winter to warm you up. It’s dark purple and can either be very spicy or even very sweet depending on how it’s made. Recipes vary though it usually consists of honey boiled with spices and juices.

  1. Mead

This legendary alcoholic drink has been around for ages. It incorporates vodka along with berry juice and honey.

  1. Kvass

In the warmer months, you’ll want a refreshing kvass to cool you down. It’s fantastic when you get it on tap. It’s made with water, flour, and molasses. This forms a leaven that becomes diluted further with water. Yeast, sugar, and a variety of other ingredients are added so that it will ferment. With fruit and berry juices added in, this lightly alcoholic drink has a sweet taste that’s often likened to sparkling cider.

  1. Mors

Another fermented and sweet juice, mors is made from foxberries, a regional berry found in Russia that tastes much like cranberries. This juice is thicker though that your ordinary juice. While it is fermented, the alcohol content is very low. This is why it’s often added to cocktails to add a pop of sweet flavor.

  1. Ryazhenka

This unusual drink is made by slow-boiling milk for a minimum of 8 hours. This milk mixture is then fermented, lending it the same kind of feel as a liquid yogurt. It’s very delicious and worth a try!

  1. Black Tea

Black tea is very popular in Russia. You’ll find tons of cafés with plentiful tea selections and sweet treats to enjoy it with, something you simply must do if you want to enjoy Russia like a local. Most Russians will drink it black, but many do enjoy it as a Cherry Varenya with the addition of sour cherries, lemon, and some sugar, making it a bit tart and unique.

With these interesting drinks on the menu all around the country, a visit to Russia will be complete only when trying them out during your journey.