Sbiten: what is it?

Elena Melnichenko
Elena Melnichenko
February 5, 2015
Sbiten: what is it?

Perhaps many people do not know the word sbiten: what everyone is and what it is prepared for, not everyone knows. In short, this is an ancient East Slavic drink based on spices and honey. Sometimes honey was replaced with jam or molasses.

Unlike other beverages that must ferment, sbiten can infuse for about four hours, and it does not need fermentation.

Although Sbiten is a non-alcoholic drink, in some cases braga or wine was added to it, but then its strength was about 4 to 7 degrees.

Origin name and cooking

This drink has acquired this name from the verb "churn", i.e. connect. Sbiten is prepared in two different vessels: the spices are prepared separately from the honey, and then the ingredients are combined.

Simple recipe


  • 150 grams of sugar;
  • 150 g of honey;
  • 2 bay leaves;
  • 5 g cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom;
  • 1 liter of water.


  1. Melt the honey in boiling water, add sugar and boil for 10 minutes.
  2. In another container, pour spices and herbs with hot water and boil for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Combine all in one pan, boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain. The drink is ready to eat.

Drink application

Due to the unique composition of hot sbiten could not only warm, but also cure for colds - herbs and honey are known for their healing properties. For this reason, Sbiten was considered a winter drink. However, it was often cooked in the summer, it was especially pleasant to eat it cold in the hot day or sitting in the bath. According to various historical sources, it can be concluded that Sbiten was already known in Russia in the 12th century AD. er For example, historians have discovered that some Slavic records dating back to 1128 have a mention of this drink.