Kompot is THE most traditional Polish drink. One can say Polish beer or vodka is the most famous, but I disagree – everyone drinks kompot in Poland and it’s been that way for generations. It’s also made in Russia, Ukraine and across all of Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
There are two versions of this fruit drink – warm made of dry fruits and cold made of fresh fruits.
The warm version – kompot z suszu is a very typical thing to put on a Christmas table. Not so long ago there were no oranges or mandarines in Poland (even when I was born they weren’t available!) so the base was dry plums instead.
According to beliefs, they chased away evil powers and ensured longevity. Apples, which are a famous symbol of love and peace, were also added to kompot.
In addition, pears were supposed to keep us strong and attract money. If someone had figs, he would gladly add them to the pot, because they meant fertility and even immortality.
Kompot Recipe Pointers
Personally, I think the simpler the better and the recipe below is for the summer version of kompot.
It can be served warm or cold, depending on the preferences and while the recipe will vary depending on the fruits you use and who makes it, it’s something you can adjust based on what you like and the season.
- 2 lbs of strawberries
- 8 cups of water
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1 lemon
- Wash the strawberries and remove cores.
- In a giant pot pull all the water, add sugar and bring to boil.
- Once the water is boiling add strawberries.
- Cook under cover for 5 minutes, then take off gas and set aside to cool down.
- Add ice and squeeze the lemon in.
You could also throw some mint leaves in your kompot.