Kompot is made by most Russian, Ukrainian and Slavic families. Popular in the summer when gardens are overflowing, but can also be made year round. Can be enjoyed cold or warm.
Making Kompot (Компот) is super easy to make and has become a lost art. We live in a reconstituted juice heaven that's so easy to buy juices in supermarkets. It's healthier and tastier than store bought. Plus it's a great way to use up extra fruit from your garden (or even an impulse fruit tray purchase from the store).
It's a popular homemade juice in Russia, Ukraine, Poland and across Eastern Europe. There are many different ways to make it, but they all include boiling fruit in a pot of water, straining and sweetening with sugar or honey. You can buy Kompot in stores across Eastern Europe. However, homemade kompot always tastes better!
What Fruit Goes In Kompot
Kompot is always made with fresh fruits and berries that grow in a northern climate. Always best from your garden or dacha. I think it's tastiest when made with mixed berries. You can use any fruit combination you like. I will even throw in apples, pears or grapes that are going soft, and not great to eat. They work perfectly to salvage for homemade juice. Use the fruit you have.
- Apricots / Peaches
- Cranberries or Lingonberries
Similar to Compote?
Don't confuse compote juice with compote, which is a stewed fruit dessert. This kompot recipe is a drink/juice, made from fruit. There is also a version of kompot that was used to preserve fruit for the winter, canned in juice. I'm sure that these all have common roots, and have been used in Eastern Europe for hundreds of years.
What Does Kompot Taste Like?
No two juice recipes taste the same. It always depends on the fruits you throw in. I find that apples don't add much flavor, but add natural sweetness. Raspberries always add great color and flavor. If you use light coloured fruits like apples and peaches, I find it lacks flavor and depth, that's why we always make it with forest fruit berries.
How to make Kompot
It's so easy to make Kompot. The sweetness of your juice depends on how sweet your fruit is. You need to add extra sugar to taste.
- Bring to boil water, fruit and sugar in a stock pot
- Simmer for 5 minutes. Cover with lid and allow to cool
- Place colander in a bowl, strain kompot and discard boiled fruit
- Refrigerate and enjoy
Kompot isn't only made in the summer using fresh fruit, it's also enjoyed in the winter, served warm. Of course you can use frozen fruit that's readily available. It won't taste any different than summer juice.
However, there is another tip, use dried fruit. This came as a necessity before freezers from long cold Russian winters. Dried fruit made into juice. Recipe works the same way with dried fruit, you just need to let it simmer a bit longer. It just won't taste the same and was made as a necessity. Try using these dried fruits.
- Dried Apples
- Dried Pears
- Dried Apricots
- Prunes or Dried Plums
- Dried Cranberries
How to Preserve Kompot
Kompot is best enjoyed freshly made. However, there is a version that traditionally has been preserved by 'canning' in large glass jars or bottles. I find that regular kompot juice freezes really well. Just fill up a soft drink bottle about ¾ of the way full, and place it in the freezer. It's a fresh taste of summer when it's winter-time, or also tastes great heated up like a warm tea.
Russian Drinks to Try!
I think it's a perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer's day. Nothing tastes better than homemade fruit juice. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 6 cups raspberries
- 2 cups blackberries
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 apples sliced optional
- 8 quart stock pot
- about 4 litres water (4 ½ quarts)
- 1 cup of sugar - to taste
- Place the fruit and sugar into the stock pot and fill up with water until pot is almost full.
- Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Taste. Add sugar if necessary.
- Cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and allow the fruit to infuse for a few hours, best overnight (if you started this in the evening)
- Strain the fruit using a colander (and cheesecloth if you like). Keep refrigerated and enjoy!