Christmas drink, honey?

It’s time to slow down and relax. We’ve got a hot honey drink for the festive season to help you unwind and feel good!

This honey of a drink is bound to help with the Christmas carols. And with raw manuka honey going in to it, you can almost drink guilt free. It doesn’t get much better than Manuka Corner raw honey. It tastes incredible, and you can feel good knowing that it’s made right here in New Zealand, the way nature intended.

T’was the night before Christmas … Singing carols? You’ll need a bit of lubrication and what’s better than a traditional hot honey drink?

Sbitenhot honey drinks

There are countless variations of this traditional Russian hot honey drink. Like mead and medovukha (a cheaper, faster version of mead), ​sbiten is a honey-based beverage made with honey, water, spices, and jam. It can be alcoholic, which, if you’re that way inclined, we recommend for this time of year.

Sbiten has a long history dating back to at least the 12th century. It was served from copper samovars by the sbitenshchik, or sbiten makers, who brewed the hot honey drink on street corners and sold it to the eager and frost-bitten public.

It is usually prepared without alcohol, but it is certainly delicious made with wine or with vodka or cognac added just before serving. The key is good-quality honey and spices. As you might expect, the ratios of these ingredients depend on the individual in control of making the drink.

A variety of jam flavours can be substituted: raspberry, boysenberry, blueberry etc.


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks cracked in several pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup of blackberry jam
  • 1/2 tbsp whole allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom (ground or crushed whole seeds)
  • 7 cups of water or wine
  • 1 mint leaf (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine honey, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, jam, water or wine and the mint and bay leaves. Slowly bring this to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently until the honey and jam have completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
  2. Let the sbiten come to room temperature. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth, pressing on the solids, and transfer to an airtight container or bottle. A 750 ml bottle should accommodate this amount of sbiten.
  3. Refrigerate and reheat when serving.
  4. If you’re adding vodka or cognac, now’s the time. The amount is up to you ….

Check out our raw NZ manuka honey. It’s lovely, pure honey!


Manuka Honey 5+ (MG 83+)