Welcome to the heart of Belarusian cuisine, where rich flavors and cultural heritage come together in a dish known as Harelka. This traditional Belarusian food recipe has been passed down through generations, offering a delicious glimpse into the culinary tapestry of Belarus. Harelka, with its comforting blend of ingredients and unique preparation, embodies the warmth and tradition of Belarusian kitchens. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the secrets behind crafting this beloved dish, celebrating the flavors that have stood the test of time in the heartland of Eastern Europe.


  • 1 kg pure, high-quality honey
  • 4 liters water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Handful of raisins
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 packet of yeast


Sanitize Equipment: Ensure all utensils and containers used in the fermentation process are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to prevent contamination.

Prepare Honey Mixture: In a large pot, combine the honey and water. Stir the mixture well until the honey is completely dissolved. This will be the base for your Harelka.

Add Flavorings: Drop in the lemon slices, raisins, cinnamon stick, and cloves into the honey-water mixture. These ingredients will infuse the Harelka with delightful flavors during fermentation.

Boil and Cool: Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and then let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Activate the Yeast: Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of warm water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy. This indicates that the yeast is activated and ready to ferment.

Combine Yeast and Honey Mixture: Once the honey-water mixture has cooled, add the activated yeast to it. Stir well to ensure even distribution.

Transfer to Fermentation Vessel: Pour the mixture into a clean, sanitized fermentation vessel, leaving some space at the top for expansion during fermentation. Seal the vessel with an airlock to allow gases to escape without letting in contaminants.

Fermentation: Place the fermentation vessel in a cool, dark place and let the Harelka ferment for about 1-2 weeks. Check for bubbles in the airlock; this indicates active fermentation.

Strain and Bottle: After fermentation, strain the Harelka to remove any solids. Transfer the liquid to clean, sanitized bottles. Optionally, add a small amount of honey for sweetness before bottling.

Age and Enjoy: Allow the bottled Harelka to age for at least a few weeks to develop its full flavor profile. Once ready, serve the chilled beverage in small glasses and savor the unique taste of this traditional Belarusian honey-based alcoholic drink.

Note: Harelka tends to vary in sweetness and strength, so feel free to adjust the honey quantity and fermentation time according to your personal preferences. Enjoy responsibly!

Nutritional Values

It's challenging to provide precise nutritional values for the ingredients in your recipe because the final values will depend on factors such as the exact quantity used, the specific brands of ingredients, and variations in nutritional content. However, I can offer some general information:

Pure, High-Quality Honey (1 kg):

  • Calories: Approximately 3,000 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 825 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 825 grams

Benefits: Rich in antioxidants, may have antibacterial properties, may help soothe sore throats, and can be a natural sweetener with potential health benefits.

Water (4 liters):

  • Water has no calories, carbohydrates, or significant nutritional value.

Benefits: Essential for hydration and overall bodily functions, aids digestion, helps maintain body temperature, and supports nutrient transportation.

Lemon, Sliced (1 lemon):

  • Calories: Approximately 17 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 5.4 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 1.6 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 1.5 grams
  • Vitamin C: Approximately 30.7 mg (32% DV)

Benefits: High in vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports immune health, may aid digestion, and adds a refreshing citrus flavor.

Handful of Raisins:

  • Calories: Approximately 43 kcal (for 1 ounce/28 grams)
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 11.5 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 6.5 grams

Benefits: Good source of natural sugars for sweetness, contains fiber for digestive health, and provides small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Cinnamon Stick (1 stick):

  • Calories: Approximately 6 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 2 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 1.4 grams

Benefits: Contains antioxidants, may have anti-inflammatory properties, and can contribute a warm, aromatic flavor to the beverage.

Cloves (5 cloves):

  • Calories: Approximately 15 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 3 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 1 gram

Benefits: Rich in antioxidants, may have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and adds a distinctive, spicy flavor.

Yeast (1 packet):

  • Calories: Approximately 23 kcal (for 7 grams, common size in a packet)
  • Protein: Approximately 3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 2 grams

Benefits: Essential for fermentation, converting sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide, resulting in the creation of the alcoholic aspect of the beverage.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on the specific brands and types of ingredients used. Additionally, the nutritional impact of some ingredients, like the lemon slices and raisins, may be less significant since they are used for flavoring in relatively small quantities.


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