Sbiten (Russian сбитень, rare: збитень ) is a Russian formerly widespread alcohol-free or sometimes alcoholic hot drink consisting of water, honey and spices substantially.
The Sbiten is a very old drink that was very popular in Russia, long before there tea experienced widespread. The first written records of Sbiten date back to the 12th century.
In contrast to Medowucha, which is also made of honey, it is at Sbiten in most cases to a hot drink that was drunk, especially in winter. For this purpose, preferably Prjaniki ( Gingerbread ), pierogi, Bubliki and other sweets were served. Foreigners who visited the reign of Peter I the Great, Russia had, therefore, sometimes referred to alcoholic Sbiten as " Russian mulled wine ".
The Sbiten as non-alcoholic hot drink can prepare comparatively easily. For this purpose, a liter of water about 100 to 200 grams of honey, sugar and various spices also like clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaf or peppermint is added; this mixture is boiled for 20 minutes, then left and then filtered pull another 30 minutes. The finished drink was served in Russia traditionally in a samovar and, like tea, drunk from cups. In addition, there are recipes for alcoholic Sbiten For this, the honey solution after adding the hops and yeast is allowed to ferment for several weeks. The alcohol content of such Sbiten usually was 4-7 per cent. For all varieties Sbiten certain medicinal plants were used in addition to spices sometimes.