Compote is a traditional Slavic drink made from fresh or dried fruits or berries. Uzvar is a kind of compote. It is made only from dried fruits, with honey added, and, unlike the usual compote, its ingredients are not boiled long, rather it’s brought just to a boil.
Uzvar is considered a festive dessert dish, often served in winter because dried fruit can be stored for many long months. In the old days, uzvar was always served on Christmas Eve. Now, this drink is on the menu of many, if not most, Ukrainian restaurants and cafes. It can be drunk cold, or warm, or hot.
Uzvar is a kind of compote.
Like other types of compote, Ukrainians love to make uzvar at home, but in the last decades, because of the spread of soda and other modern soft drinks, they do it less and less, more often on a special occasion.
There is no precise recipe for uzvar; the proportion of ingredients depends on the cook’s desire and taste. Usually for 5 liters of water, you add 100-200 g prunes, 100-200 g dried apples, 100-200 g dried pears, and 50-100 g raisins. Bring to a boil and add up to 100 g of honey (sugar can be used instead). You can add spices as well, like cinnamon. You shouldn’t drink uzvar right away, it needs to rest for 2-4 hours.
This article was published in the book Interesting Ukraine.
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© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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