Friday, 28 October 2011

Berry Nice

Kisel (Thick Russian Berry Drink)

I remember growing up drinking this. It SO fruity and refreshing in summer. I remember I didn't like to eat the fruit, so my mom would make sure I only got the juice. I think it was a way to keep me in vitamins, even when I crinkled my nose at healthy foods- and a good one!

I made this with my mom. She spends months finding the right berries at the shops and green grocers. It's such a treat when she finally makes this- especially now that I'm old enough to appreciate the yummy fruit and gorgeous colour. It was much easier than I had always thought it was.

One thing I learned here though- always over-sweeten! The berries are super sour, and will absorb the sugar. Which brings me to another point: if you do drink it as soon as it's ready, it's going to be sour. Don't freak out and add sugar, just let it sit overnight and it will be perfect the next day!

From my mom

1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
2 1/2 cups frozen black currant
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 jar cherries in syrup
2 cups sugar
3 heaped tblsp potato flour

1) Get that really big soup pot that you never use, fill it just over halfway with water, and set on a medium to high heat.
2) Add sugar to make the water just slightly overly sweet- about 1 cup. Wait for it to get to almost boiling.
3) Now add the frozen berries- don't add the cherries quite yet.
4) Keep it on a high heat, but don't let it boil properly. While it's heating up, squish the berries against the sides. It really helps with the aroma. I think I squished almost all of them, and it turned out beautifully.
5) Once it's heated through, add the cherries with their syrup.
6) Now, taste the kisel, make sure it's slightly overly sweet. Add sugar if needed.
7) Now is the tricky part. wait until the kisel is about to boil. Put the potato flour in a jug and fill it up with cold water. You now need to mix continually. As soon as the kisel boils, add the potato flour mixture, but you now need to mix the kisel continually, until it thickens.
8) Now it's done. Let it stand for at least an hour before trying to drink. But like I said- it will be sour on the first day. Once it's cooled, keep it in the fridge. It's SUPER refreshing on hot days.

You can make this with any fruit and berries that you want- go wild!

I've been drinking this kisel every night this week. We've had this long heat wave and no rain, so it's really helped me through. Ralph isn't one for berries, but he did taste and say that it isn't horrible- I'm counting it as a win!


  1. Olga, this looks fantastic! I have never heard of Kisel before, but I bought a huge bag of fresh cranberries at the market yesterday and now I know exactly what I will do with them! Thanks!!

  2. Hi Jenniffer! Please let me know how it goes? I hope it turns out beautifully.