6 cocktails à la russe you can make yourself

Borsch and Ukhvat coctails

Borsch and Ukhvat coctails

Press photo
What happens if you mix vodka with kvass? And which Bloody Mary do Russians prefer?

Classic cocktails: Kvasya, White Russian, Bloody Mary 

(from Rock’n’Roll Bar&Cafe in Moscow)

1. Kvasya

The oldest Russian drink is kvass, while the most famous is vodka. Mix them together, add cinnamon flavoring, and you get kvasya. Not for nothing does the Russian verb kvasit have the colloquial meaning “to booze.” To be fair, if done properly, a kvasya cocktail contains more kvass than vodka.

Ingredients per serving:

  • 35 ml kvass 
  • 10 ml vodka 
  • 5 ml cinnamon syrup 

Preparation:

Kvass can be bought in any Russian food store, and vodka and cinnamon syrup in almost any. To make the cocktail, pour all the ingredients into a glass in the proportions specified above. To the millimeter! 

Read more:5 unusual fruit kvass recipes you can cook yourself

2. White Russian

This cocktail was named after the White Guards who fled abroad following defeat in the Russian Civil War of 1918-22. In the West, they were called White Russians. For a while, it was considered a woman’s drink, but that changed in the 1990s after the release of The Big Lebowski. The cocktail was the title character’s favorite drink, and after the movie just about every bar in the world started serving it. Incidentally, it also made an appearance in the movie Catwoman, where the feline heroine orders it in a bar, reducing the list of ingredients to cream. So whether you’re a man, a woman… or a cat — it’s easy to make at home.

Ingredients:

  • ice
  • vodka
  • coffee liqueur
  • cream 10%

Preparation:

Put ice in a glass, pour in all the ingredients in equal proportions, and mix with a spoon. Done! For aficionados: it’s better to use fresh cream and shake before adding to the glass. This will impart a more pleasing consistency. 

3. Bloody Mary à la russe

This long drink based on vodka and tomato juice was not invented in Russia, but we'll share with you our version that speaks directly to the Russian soul — Bloody Mary with cucumber.

Ingredients per serving:

  • ice
  • 50 ml vodka
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • 20 g fresh cucumber
  • pickle
  • salt, pepper
  • 150 ml tomato juice
  • 1 ml tabasco
  • mustard

Preparation:

First chop the fresh cucumber, place in a glass, and mash a little with a mortar. Add vodka, tomato, and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce, and mustard (a couple of grams). Thoroughly mix all the ingredients, and add ice. For decoration, a pickle will do nicely. 

Read more: These Three Marys can cure your holiday hangover

Neoclassic: Borsch, Red Square, stove

4. Borsch cocktail 

(from Kuznya restaurant in St. Petersburg)

You might think that beetroot syrup combined with gin is already borsch. Not quite!

Ingredients per serving:

  • 40 ml gin 
  • 20 ml blackcurrant puree
  • 15 ml beetroot syrup 
  • 15 ml lemon Juice 
  • 20 ml egg white (can be replaced with a foaming agent)

Preparation:

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and whisk thoroughly without ice at first to make a luscious foam. Then add ice and whisk again. Filter into a glass (a champagne coupe is best) and serve without ice.

Blackcurrant puree: Put berries and sugar (preferably sugar syrup) through the blender in a 3:1 ratio, then strain.

Beetroot syrup: Simmer beetroot juice on low heat to a third of its initial volume. Mix the juice with sugar in a 1:1 ratio until the sugar completely dissolves. Leave to cool. 

5. Red Square 

(from Russky Pub gastrobar in Moscow)

This is a berry cocktail with meringue topping in the shape of the dome of the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square. Looks impressive.

Ingredients per serving:

  • 50 ml cranberry extract 
  • 30 g cowberry puree 
  • 30 ml cranberry water 
  • 10 ml lemon juice 
  • 15 ml fructose 
  • 1 pc egg white 
  • 20 g sugar 

Preparation:

First mix the cranberry extract, cowberry puree, cranberry water, lemon juice, and fructose in a shaker or other hermetically sealed container. Shake well for at least 30 seconds. Whisk the egg white with sugar for 5-10 minutes. Using a pastry bag, shape the mix into a “dome” and dry in the oven at 120 C for 20-40 minutes. Pour the cocktail into a glass and place the St. Basil’s-dome-shaped meringue on top as decoration. 

6. Uhvat* cocktail 

(from Uhvat restaurant in Moscow)

The honey aroma of this cocktail evokes pleasant associations of village life with affable cows and warm stoves.

Ingredients per serving:

  • 50 ml fortified wine 
  • 50 ml cream 33% 
  • 25 g buckwheat honey
  • 1pc egg yolk 
  • 10 g cocoa powder 

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in a shaker, and shake well for at least 30 seconds. Pour the cocktail into a chilled champagne glass, and sprinkle with cocoa powder or grated chocolate.

* A type of oven fork for putting cast-iron pots in the stove

Read more: 6 non-alcoholic street drinks Soviet people loved

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