Kvas (Kvass) - Russian Alternative to Coke

Ah, there is nothing better than a mug of cold kvas on a hot summer day. This refreshing and tasty drink is way healthier than coke and soda and it's not so difficult to prepare it at home. If you're asking yourself "What the heck is kvas", here are some interesting facts about it.

Kvas (Kvass) - Russian Alternative to Coke

Kvass or kvas (in Russian: квас), sometimes translated into English as bread drink, is a fermented mildly alcoholic beverage made from black rye or rye bread (which attributes to its light or dark colour). It is popular in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and other Eastern and Central European countries. Its origins go back 5,000 years to the beginnings of beer production.

The alcohol content is so low (0.05-1.44%) that it is considered acceptable for consumption by children. It is often flavoured with fruits or herbs such as strawberries or mint. Kvass is also used for preparing a summer cold soup, okroshka (which is yummy!)

Homemade Kvas Recipe

3 liters of water
1 kg rye crackers (rye bread cut into pieces dried in the oven until dark brown)
150-200 gr sugar
20 g yeast powder
60 g raisins

Pour boiling water into a saucepan with crackers, cool down. Mix in sugar. Add yeast powder, close with a piece of gauze and store in a warm place for 12 hours. Filter the mixture, pour into bottles, add raisins. Store in a cool place.


  1. Funny thing today I made kvas just before finding your blog and this entry ) Although why on earth would someone compare it to Coke? They're just 2 different things with very different taste.

  2. Joonas: Thank you, I appreciate it!

    Aluajala: First, thanks for stopping by :) Regarding your question, personally I drink a pure cold water. Many other people prefer their refreshing beverage to have some taste. Whether it's a coke, a kvas or a fruit juice - all of them serve the same purpose, so why not to compare?

  3. In turn of the century Russia...in a landowner's estate...in what type of vessel would one serve kvass: a mug, a glass, or ?

  4. Hi Janet,
    Kvass is usually served in a mug.
    Long ago there was also a vessel called "kvasnik" in which kvass was stored and served (it's been mentioned from the beginning of the 17th century).
    Kvasnik looks like this:

  5. HI Emma,I am planning a RUssian dinner (2 PM) for 12. I have thought about piroshki for an hors doeuvre, then Borsht, kasha with onions, Salade Russe, black bread, chicken kiev ( or other chicken dish) potatoes of some sort, pickles, home made sauerkraut and blini/jam/sour cream for dessert. Tea with cherry jam and strong coffee. Can you make other suggestions and/or correct mine, please? THanks sundayat5@hotmail.com


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