Ivan Savelyevich Varenukha
The theater manager at the Variete.
The name Varenukha comes from a vodka based berry drink.
Varenukha: Ukrainian Hot spiced vodka
Unlike the Russians, who insist on chilled vodkas, the Ukrainians prefer
warm brandies and vodkas, which as they so quaintly put it "make a
carnation bloom right inside your stomach." For centuries varenukha
- which means "boiled" - was the favored tipple of the fearsome
Cossacks, fueling their warrior bodies by day and making them merry by night.
It should be served warm.
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 1 liter vodka (4 cups)
- 3 ounces dried pears
- 3 ounces dried apples
- 3 ounces dried prunes
- 1 piece (1 inch) cinnamon stick
- 1 piece (1/2 inch) fresh ginger
- 4 white peppercorns
1. In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the vodka and honey and bring
to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the honey.
2. Preheat the oven to 125°F.
3. Select and ovenproof pot with a very tight-fitting lid. Pour the bodka
in it and add the dried fruit and the spices. Bake for about 5 hours.
4. Strain thoroughly and transfer to a bottle. Serve slightly warm.
Makes 1 quart
From Please to the Table, by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman