medovukha

[photo via medovuha]

You think that everybody in Russia just sits around in the snow and drinks vodka? Well think again because you’re wrong! Today is National Flag Day in Russia, a holiday that commemorates the raising of the flag used today over the Russian Supreme Soviet building after the 1991 coup attempt. That coup, although unsuccessful, is widely renowned as one of the main factors in destabilizing the Soviet government. Hooray for Russia!

russia flag

[photo via zastavki]

Originally the tricolor flag was used for Russian merchant ships in the 1800’s, but after many wars and power switching hands, several other flags flew over Russia. In 1991, the tricolor flag was once again adopted as the official flag of the Russian Federation. There are various reasons behind what the colors mean, but nobody knows for sure. Some say that the colors signify the colors of the Virgin Mary’s robes because she is the protectress of Russia. Others say the colors symbolize the different portions of Russia: Belarus, Ukraine and Great Russia (an obsolete term for the landmass).

I’d drink to that! Medovukha is an ancient Slavic drink that comes from fermented honey. It used to take 15-50 years to ferment the honey, making it a big luxury item in Eastern Europe. However, when the Slavs figured out that heating the honey made fermentation much faster, the drink became popular with the locals. In the 1400’s, distillation was invented which sped up the process again and moved us closed to the modern medovukha recipe we know.

wedding medovukha

[photo via TariTravel]

Traditionally, medovukha was served at weddings and special occassions. Folklore spread that it could cure the common cold and be a Viagra-like miracle drug!

The producers today still use all-natural ingredients, a fact they’re very proud of. After the honey is fermented, the first step is blending it. Then, manufacturers add water and natural concentrates to the alcoholic mixture. Viola! Medovukha. You can find the delicious drink in any honey stores in Russia–they sell all honey related products. Although medovukha hasn’t garnered a significant share of the alcohol market, it’s gaining popularity for health conscious drinkers.

Drink up, it’s good for you!

Do you want to try medovukha?

Gabbi Ewing is a rising junior studying Journalism as well as Film & Television at NYU. She is a New Jersey native who enjoys traveling, writing, skiing, and swimming. She hopes to travel the world, but her next adventure is taking her to Sydney, Australia to study with NYU. She aspires to work for National Geographic or Discovery Channel and to use her film, photography and writing skills to help people experience new cultures and places that they don't have the opportunity to travel to themselves.

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