Reporter’s Notebook: Russian Non-Alcoholic drinks will keep you cool in summer

In Kazakhstan and other republic of the former Soviet Union, there are popular non-alcoholic drinks, which can greatly satisfy someone’s thirst in the hot summer. These are kvas, lemonade, and kompot.

A variety of kvases and lemonades are sold at every supermarket or small shop in the former USSR. They have sweet and sour tastes. The drinks are served cold.

Kvas is on the shelf of a Kazakhstanian grocery store. Kvas is usually brown color. It has sweet and sour flavors. It is served cold. Photo. by Tanya Nyborg

In Oklahoma, Russian kvas and lemonade can be purchased at the stores specialized in selling Russian and European food. One of such shops is Euromart, 7847 E. 71st, in Tulsa.

While traveling in Kazakhstan, I asked a local housekeeper to share a recipe of kompot with me. Kompot is a delicious drink made from fruits and berries.

Here is the recipe.

Wash and put fresh, dried or frozen fruits and berries, such as apples, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, etc., in a cooking pan. Some fruits, for example, apples, must be cut in small pieces. Add two or more liters of water into the pan. Boil water with the fruits and berries until the water gets the flavor and changes its color into red or yellow. The fruits and berries will lose their flavors. Also, add sugar during the cooking process.

After kompot is done, cool it and store in a refrigerator. Serve the drink cold.

Lemonade is a popular drink in Kazakhstan since the Soviet time. It is often served at the parties. On the right side of the picture, a lemonade “Dyushes” is shown. “Dyushes” is an especially delicious lemonade made from pears. Photo by Tanya Nyborg