Sbiten is a traditional Russian hot beverage, very much loved by Russians in wintertime. It was first mentioned in chronicles in the 12 century and was very popular till 19th century when was substituted with tea and coffee.
Like mead, sbiten's main ingredient is honey mixed with water, spices, and jam. Comparing sbiten to kvass, it is very simple to prepare.
Here is the traditional recipe for 4 servings:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 cardamom pods
3 slices fresh ginger, to taste
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1. Combine all ingredients with 1-quart water in a saucepan with a lid over medium heat; bring almost to a boil.
2. Cover and turn off heat; steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Strain, then reheat and serve, or refrigerate, covered, and serve cold.
You may try sbiten in Sergiev Posad on the third day of your