Smoked Bacon and Birch Vodka

If you read my previous post about Nasha Rasha, you might remember that their flavored vodkas were about the only things worth spending a ruble on. There was a good blood orange vodka, but this hardly deserves a serious recipe. Take vodka, fresh blood orange juice (reduced over low heat, optionally), simple syrup, and mix to your […]

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Mors 2.0 and Berry Soda

Ever since I posted my first mors (the Russian berry cocktail) about two years ago, I’ve been trying to come up with an even better recipe. Something more than a pleasant fruit punch; a kind of uncompromising antioxidant and vitamin bomb with a delicious, concentrated flavor. Recent articles on ChefSteps about fruit juice and fruit soda boosted my […]

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Russian Birch Cream Liqueur

Whether you want to celebrate the last day of Maslenitsa, Saint Patrick’s Day with a Russian twist, or the coming birch sugar season, this is the drink for you. The Irish-cream-like mixture dilutes the intense flavor of birch syrup, helping to reveal its complexity. This might be my favorite way to consume the syrup, in fact! I […]

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Strawberry Liqueur

Encouraged by the success of my Crème de Cassis over the summer, I went back to Fishkill Farms to pick strawberries. Picking strawberries is tough work, choosing the ripest berries on all fours in 100 F temperatures under scorching sun, but it’s well worth the effort. Some of the berries made their way into delicious preserves, but there were […]

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Crème de Cassis and Black Currant Liqueur

Black currants are very popular throughout Europe, and Russia is the world’s largest producer of currants and gooseberries. While the leaves are used to pickle vegetables, the acidic but highly flavorful berries are made into preserves, jellies, juices, wines or liqueurs. In the U.S., cultivation was banned in the early 1900’s as it became a […]

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Mors, Russian Berry Cocktail

Mors is a refreshing drink made of berries. Though cranberries are the most traditional choice, any berry in season can be used, and commercial brands in Russia and Ukraine offer anything from blackcurrant to raspberry. This version, made with red currants and blueberries, was inspired by the selection at the Union Square Greenmarket this morning — I […]

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Tarkhun, Tarragon Soda

Tarragon soda was invented by Mitrofan Lagidze in Tbilisi in 1887, and I already talked about Lagidze’s beverages here, in another post. But it wasn’t until 1981 that Soviet Union started mass production and gave Tarkhun (whose name is derived from the word for tarragon in Georgian and other languages from around the Caucasus) its distinctive […]

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