First mentioned in Slavonic chronicles in 1128, it remained popular with all strata of Russian society until the 19th century when it was replaced by coffee and tea. It is being revived in the 21st century as a mass-produced drink in Russia. Sbiten-hot drink made from spices and herbs with honey or sugar.
It was purchased in general only in Moscow in crowded places.

Sbitenshchik (Russian: сбитенщик) was a sbiten vendor in old Russia. The tradition began in the 12th century.

The comic opera The Sbiten Vendor (Сбитенщик – Sbitenshchik) by Yakov Knyazhnin with music by Czech composer Antoine Bullant, 1783, was very popular in 18–19th centuries in Russia.

Ingredients for preparing Sbiten:

Sbiten is considered Russian national winter beverage.

  • 5 l water
  • 800 g berry jam
  • 200 g honey
  • 2 g ginger
  • 2 g cloves
  • 1 g cinnamon


  • Bring water to boil, add honey and jam.
  • 5 minutes after add spices to the water and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Serve hot.