In Europe, hot chocolate is especially popular in winter, but in Russia, since time immemorial, people have prepared a unique beverage made of herbs, berries and honey, known as sbiten. It used to be prepared in a samovar, but nowadays a cooker and saucepan will suffice.
Sbiten is undergoing a resurgence in Russia — it is available everywhere from coffee houses to restaurants. Oatmeal cookies with cranberries make a very tasty combination. Both recipes are easy to follow, so there's no excuse not to try them!
Recipe by Viktor Beley, brand chef at Uhvat restaurant
If some ingredients are missing, feel free to experiment. Instead of chokeberry puree, use black currant, for instance, or try replacing birch sap with apple juice.
Recipe by Artem Apanitsky, pastry chef at Drinks@Dinners restaurant
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