A Holiday Drink Recipe: Galya’s Витаминный Чай

December 6, 2011

There is one drink Galya loves to make that simply reminds me of the holidays. It tastes a little bit like a hot mulled cider, only fruitier and a bit richer. When asked what it was called, Galya thought for a moment and then said matter-of-factly, “витаминный чай.”[1] I hope you enjoy the recipe. According to Galya, this is “очень полезный!”[2]



A little more holiday cheer for you!

A little more holiday cheer for you!

  • Boiling water
  • Fresh apples
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh mint
  • Hawthorn (бояршник) berries
  • Briar (шиповник) berries
  • Rowan (рябина) berries


Cut up an apple or two (or three!) into pieces and toss them into a thermos. The apple can be followed by a handful or so of cranberries. If available, try adding a handful of hawthorn, briar, and rouan berries. Cut a few pieces of fresh ginger and pluck of handful of mint leaves and toss them, too. Pour the boiling water into the thermos and close the lid. Let sit for at least 3-4 hours, if not over night. The drink is delicious both hot and нормальная![3]


The exact amount of each of these ingredients will depend upon two things: first, the size of your thermos, and second, your personal taste. If you do not have all the ingredients listed, don’t fret! It seems that the art of Galya’s cooking is spontaneous improvisation, and it produces absolutely delicious results. Also, if you do not have a thermos, simply toss everything into a pot, put on the lid, and cover it with a towel. If it isn’t hot when you’re ready to serve it, just toss the pot on the stove and quickly heat it again.

[1] Vitamin Tea

[2] Very healthy

[3] Normal (It is not typical to drink cold drinks in Russia, as cold beverages are thought to be quite unhealthy. Hence, drinks are served either “hot” or “normal,” i.e., at room temperature)


5 Responses to “A Holiday Drink Recipe: Galya’s Витаминный Чай”

  1. Debbie said

    Hawthorne, briar and Rowan berries? Are they from her dacha?

    • sarahinthegoldencircle said

      Essentially, yes–but they actually come from the forest, as opposed to being home-grown. The forest area around dachas seems to be considered communal property, and it’s very common for people to use all of the resources it has to offer.

  2. Debbie said

    I will have to look up these berries. Do you know if they grow in the U.S.?

    • sarahinthegoldencircle said

      I believe so, and I’m sure they could at least be found at a specialty store. To be perfectly honest, though, this recipe is pretty flexible, so if you can’t find the berries, I wouldn’t worry too much. They certainly add a nice flavor, but Galya seems to make this drink slightly differently every time (and each time it’s great!).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: