This classic kvass is made with sweet apple juice and fermented to bubbly, tangy perfection. A classic Slavic refreshment that can be enjoyed by the whole family! 

Kvass in a cup and a jar next to it

This recipe for kvass comes straight from my mother’s cookbook. She used to make it for us as kids during apple season and we would go back for glass after glass. Largely known as the national drink of Russia, this beverage is served as a refreshment at most Slavic get-togethers. A must-try!

What is Kvass?

Kvass is a traditional Slavic drink. Both children and adults are obsessed with its fizzy, fermented deliciousness. In its most authentic form, it’s made with rye bread and birch sap. This recipe provides a way to achieve the same great taste with a fraction of the effort. Below, find a rundown of the flavor, texture, and time.

  • Flavor: The flavor can vary on the process, however, you’ll find most kvass taste similar to kombucha, while slightly less tangy and more fermented.
  • Texture: The texture can be compared to a naturally fermented kombucha. You’ll love the fizziness!
  • Time: From start to finish, it takes anywhere from 1-2 days to make. If you like it extra bubbly you’ll want to ferment the beverage for two days. If you like it a bit more mild, 1 day will do the trick.
Ingredients for Kvass

Is Kvass Alcoholic?

Because it’s fermented, many people wonder if kvass is considered alcoholic. It’s not! Similar to kombucha, it contains less than 1% of alcohol, making it safe to be consumed by kids and adults alike.

How to Make Slavic Kvass

Making this Slavic staple only requires a bit of mixing and patience for the fermentation process. Below, find a brief overview of the recipe before you dive in.

  • Mix the Ingredients: In a large, sealable commercial storage container, mix the warm water, apple juice, sugar, apple cider vinegar, instant coffee, and yeast together until well-combined.
  • Cover and Ferment: Cover the container with a lid and let the kvass ferment for 24-48 hours depending on the level of fermentation you prefer.
  • Refrigerate and Serve: Transfer the kvass into a sealable pitcher or individual bottles. Refrigerate, serve cold, and enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

Below, find a couple of pro tips and tricks to help you make the best, most refreshing kvass.

  • Allow it to ferment in a warm place. Before you refrigerate and serve kvass, you’ll want to let it ferment in a warm place. A couple of examples include your garage (except during winter of course!), on top of the dryer, or close to a heating vent.
  • Ferment it longer if you like tang. The longer you let the kvass ferment, the more fermented and tangy it will be. Feel free to experiment with fermentation times as you see fit!
  • Store it in a sealable pitcher or jar. To prevent the beverage from soaking up the smells in your refrigerator, store it in a sealable pitcher or jar.

Storing Kvass

  • Refrigerator (Pitcher): You can store kvass in a sealable pitcher for up to 10 days. As it sits, it will continue to ferment and the colors will deepen.
  • Refrigerator (Bottles): If you want to have some grab-and-go bottles, feel free to store your kvass in some sealable glass bottles. They will also keep for up to 10 days.

Serving Kvass

This kvass can be served alongside just about any meal. Much like kombucha, it’s a refreshing drink that is great for those times when you need a sweet and fizzy pick-me-up.

Kvass in a cup and a jar next to it

FAQ

What does kvass taste like?

The flavor of kvass greatly differs on the technique and the manufacturer. Most of the commercially available kvass tastes closer to fermented cola drink, while the traditional (proper) and homemade recipes taste like a mix between beer and kombucha.

Is kvass the same thing as kombucha?

While both are fermented beverages, kvass and kombucha are not the same. To ferment kvass, you rely on the natural sugars and yeast breaking down through a process called lacto fermentation. On the other hand, kombucha requires you to make culture, referred to as a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to power the fermentation process.

When should I drink kvass?

Kvass is generally consumed as a refreshing drink, think of soda. You can find it sold at lemonade stands in European countries. It’s also common to consume alongside dinner or a feast.

Can kvass go bad?

Kvass will go bad after about 10 days. It will turn strong and bitter.

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About Author

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.