While on a recent trip to Russia, we experienced a unique hot beverage that we absolutely loved. I started asking for it everywhere we dined. I noted the name and did some quick research to find that Sbiten goes back centuries and was the hot drink of the country before the popularity of coffee and tea. It has recently been revived, and I found it delicious and a real comforting cold weather beverage. It consists of honey, spices, and blackberry jam. We’ve added this to our hot beverage offerings for the holidays, serving it in mugs with a cinnamon stick garnish.

I thought you would enjoy it as well. Here’s the recipe.

Sbiten (Russian Hot Beverage)

10 Servings

Ingredients:

½ c. honey
1 t. ground cloves
¼ t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger 
16 oz. blackberry jam
10 ¼ cups water (or wine if you like)
¼ t. ground nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks for garnish

Bring water/wine to boil in a large pot. Add ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, honey and jam and stir gently until jam it's dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and cool for several minutes and serve. Garnish with a cinnamon stir stick.

Maxine Turner is the president of Cuisine Unlimited and contributes monthly blogs about food, catering, trends and more to saltlakemagazine.com.