Russian soft-drinks explained: tastes like forests, rye bread, licorice, bubblegum

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25 Responses to “Russian soft-drinks explained: tastes like forests, rye bread, licorice, bubblegum”

  1. Cefeida says:

    Not to distract from the delicious disgustingness (sic) of post-soviet sodas, but I think your tiny text tag is open because all of BB after this post is really hard to read.

    Or maybe that’s just the Baikal…

  2. autark says:

    In Georgia and Azerbaijan I tasted a favorite local soft drink that was flavored of Tarragon.  Unexpected but refreshing in 115+ degree heat.

  3. IronEdithKidd says:

    To me kvass tastes like is Guinness without the alcohol.  Also known as liquifacted rye bread with a couple of bubbles.

  4. IamInnocent says:

    In Canada we have the spruce beer.

  5. Preston Sturges says:

    Golden bubble gum?

    That’s an exact match to Inca Cola.

  6. Dan Hibiki says:

    Kvas is great when it’s fresh brewed. I never liked any of the bottled ones.

    Oh and fresh Birch sap is delicious!

  7. zombiebob says:

     have always liked strange russian carbonated drinks as much as I have always loved checking out Russian (slavic really, as what you think is a Russian store might actually be a Belarussian or a Polish/Russian stre etc etc )

  8. rimrender says:

    Traveling a lot I have run across a lot of weird soda and other drinks(Korea and Japan come to mind), unfortunately I have never had the Russian ones.  And I am not willing to risk Aeroflot to get some.

  9. LogrusZed says:

    I would love to try the rye bread flavor.

    I bought a bottle of Faygo “Rockin’ Rye” (Faygo is now creeping into my local markets) and it tasted of no kind of rye I can think of; instead it tasted like the “mystery flavor” of Dum-Dum lollypops.

  10. Kimmo says:

    Can this sort of thing be procured online?

    There’s a pretty dull selection of soft drinks on offer in Oz generally, and I have a hankering for some of that Limca I discovered in India…

  11. Preston Sturges says:

    There’s an American  supermarket that sells nothing but thousands of different kinds of soda, and i believe I heard a story about it on NPR last year.  Celery is an old time favorite. 

  12. Kludgegrrl says:

    I remember drinking kvass in the former USSR (in 1984 and 1990) and it was great!  I recall that there were men in Georgia that sold glasses from portable tanks in public areas.  In Russia they had machines that you would put money into (a few kopeks), take a glass from the top, rinse (because you just reused the same glasses over and over — which doesn’t really bear much thinking about…) and fill with kvass.  I don’t recall seeing any that was bottled. 

    Given how truly wretched the vast majority of soviet food and drink was, the kvass stood out like a beacon of refreshment.  Although I do recall that there was pretty decent, and very inexpensive, champagne that was available in special bars — often paired with ice cream I think. 

  13. allinmypants says:

    I remember drinking kvass in the former USSR (in 1984 and 1990) and it was great!  I recall that there were men in Georgia that sold glasses from portable tanks in public areas.  In Russia they had machines that you would put money into (a few kopeks), take a glass from the top, rinse (because you just reused the same glasses over and over — which doesn’t really bear much thinking about…) and fill with kvass.  I don’t recall seeing any that was bottled. 

    Given how truly wretched the vast majority of soviet food and drink was, the kvass stood out like a beacon of refreshment.  Although I do recall that there was pretty decent, and very inexpensive, champagne that was available in special bars — often paired with ice cream I think.

  14. Matt Rausch says:

    The end of the 2nd video linked… dude pulls a dried(?) fish out of a can… whaaat?

    • Oleg Kolokolov says:

      For that fish I can explain for you, it’s called “Voblah”, it’s a traditional snack for the beer. It was very popular habit in soviet times – people used to drink beer and eat Vobla. It should have been very salty and dry, you could take off small slices of fish meat out of it with your fingers. It always takes some time of course and you have to deal with all the leftovers etc. but it’s tasty especially good with light beer.

  15. Culturedropout says:

    What?  None that taste like sweaty, hairy, muscular women?  

  16. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I don’t imbibe soft drinks, but Okhotnichya (hunter’s vodka) tastes a bit like the mist rising from a new grave at dusk.

  17. Preston Sturges says:

    We were at the local art house theater last month and stopped in a  Turkministan market next door, which was surprisingly busy.  It seemed like most people were buying juices to mix with liquor for the movie, and the guy at the counter was more than happy to provide mixology advice. 

  18. paux says:

    Anyone know where you can find these drinks in Los Angeles?  I’d love to try some of them.

  19. pjcamp says:

    Drinkable bread? Isn’t that called “beer?”

  20. Oleg Kolokolov says:

    Bastard! He’s just disclosed our national top secret. We were drinking this stuff for years and noone ever cared, now they all will know of  that! damn… I’m sure he’s already arrested and is being reconducted to some distant place in Siberia :)
    The whole world in saint ignorance drinked their stupid Cola, filled with a ton of sugar and ortophosphorous acid, that just can’t stand the human organism and instantly goes off taking away double amount of water and some calcium from the bones. And what now?… they will find out that there are other tasty drinks consisting of natural extracts that give you no more than a refreshment and good health. Luckily our best guard – Aeroflot –  is still there :)

  21. I love kvass, but I found the bottled stuff disappointing. Like sour kraut, it’s one of those things best bought from little old ladies on street corners. When I lived in Kyiv, giant metal drums appeared all over the city as the days grew hotter.  At first I was very skeptical, but after a long, sweaty day at the Pirohovo museum, my friends convinced me to try some, and I was soon hooked. It’s very slightly alcoholic–not enough to get drunk–and I think that helped make up for any shortcomings in sanitation.

    To me, kvas tastes a bit like a freshly mowed lawn smells. As strange as that may sound, on  a hot summer day, it’s the perfect refreshment. I’m guessing every region, and perhaps every little old lady, has their own flavor variations, the same way local honey always tastes different.

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