Besides all the Vodka indulgence in my trip to Russia, I first found these Slavic honey-based drinks in a supermarket in the old town called Veliky Novgorod, somewhere close to St Petersburg (in fact, you can find them almost everywhere ). Was told it is an alcoholic drink which supposed to be stronger and stouter than beer and weaker than wine. However being with the locals helps. They brought me to the alcohol-free version as well. The non alcoholic ones become a sought-after item among the elderly and those who follow a healthy way of life. Some medovukha “fans” even get a little carried away – they believe that the drink can cure almost everything.
The labels of this brand I had are cute with fun illustrations of honey hunting bears, different colored labels indicate different alcohol level from 0-8%. I had a sip followed by another sip, they tasted healthy and yum! It consists of honey and yeast. Berries, hop, herbs, spices and roots may also be used as additives. It was originally popular with the nobility – and later with ordinary folks – in the many European cultures where it was known under the name of “mead.”
Most modern medovukha producers are proud that their beverages are made only from natural ingredients. They process the honey with special fermenting equipment and then they blend it with distilled water. However, there are some producers who prefer to use concentrates instead of natural honey – in this case medovukha loses its authentic taste. So if you somehow would like to go deep into medovukha, you may need to do some good research to know which is the best, or just ask the local.
Today in Russia you may see lots of vodka bottles with “medovukha” written on the label (both in Russian and English). But beware: when you see this “brand” it is not medovukha – it is just honey-flavored vodka. ”
If you ever travel to Russia, you may like to grab a bottle or a few back home for your kid to your grannies, a drink for everyone!