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Real Russian Kvass Recipe

Updated on August 22, 2016
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Shushanik enjoys sharing recipes of dishes from her home country. She also likes discovering new dishes and sharing them with her readers.

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4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Kvass

Continuing the hubs about "exotic" food, I decided to write about a drink today - Russian kvass recipe. I have some childhood memories of my mom making kvass which we were drinking all summer long. It was very tasty and refreshing. Now people are getting more and more lazy and prefer buying ready to drink beverages rather than preparing something themselves, but if you want to try something new, I'm sure you'll like my today's recipe. It is rather easy to make, though requires much time (several days) for kvass to get ready.

What Is Kvass?

Kvass is a Russian national non-alcoholic fermented beverage that is made from black or rye bread. It can also be flavored with different herbs, fruits, berries or raisins. The first mention of kvass is dated back to 989, when Vladimir, the prince of Kievan Rus', baptized his people and made the country Christian. It is written in the historical documents of the time: "Distribute food, honey and kvass to people". In Russian cuisine kvass is not only a drink, but also an ingredient for many dishes, for example, cold summer soup Okroshka.

Historically, kvass was a daily drink for Russian people. It also was connected with many superstitions, rites and even magical rituals. That means that it was a really special drink.

Kvass was prepared for the memorial celebrations, weddings and birthdays. It was used during the ancient ritual of "washing the bride" on the eve of the wedding. After the wedding, parents of the groom met newlyweds with the bread and kvass. It also was a symbol of fertility and was used in special rituals during the wedding.

Kvass was also considered a talisman. People from Kievan Rus' believed that the fire caused by lightning can be extinguished only by milk or kvass, not by water. To prevent the spread of such fire, people threw a hoop from a kvass barrel into it.

In Belarus, before the newborn is bathed for the first time, he was given a little bit of kvass to prevent him from catching cold.

There were literally thousands of different kvass recipes using a lot of different ingredients. Kvasses were made from different grains: rye, barley, oats, millet. Kvasses differed depending on the location, climate, season and tastes of the family. There is ancient kvass with mint and raisins, Northern kvass from rye-wheat flour, white kvass, red kvass, ginger kvass, ruspberry kvass, kvass from pears and cherries... In this hub I will post the "classic" and one of the most simplest kvass recipes - bread kvass recipe.


  • 3-4 pieces of rye bread
  • 3-5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon of dry yeast
  • 1.5 liters of warm water, not warmer than 95F (35C)
  • 3 raisins

How To Make Kvass

  1. Dry pieces of rye bread in the oven.
  2. Mix everything together, add 1.5 liters of warm water and leave kvass to ferment for 3 days (you should use 2 liter jar or two 1 liter jars or bottles and leave some space for the kvass to "rise")
  3. In 3 days, pour kvass off to a new bottle or jar, add 3 raisins and sugar and put it into the fridge for 2 more days.
  4. Enjoy your refreshing kvass.


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