Curious facts about Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

Did you know that monks knew to prepare well a delicious wine drink – bishop in the Lavra cellar?

For this purpose, mostly red and sometimes white wine was fermented with fresh or prepared in a special way oranges.

There were several recipes of a bishop according to the methods of preparing oranges: they could be slightly dried in the sun or in the oven, baked, or even set alight. There were also some peculiarities of mixing oranges with sugar to obtain a mixture, which was then covered with wine. Bishop drink was sometimes cooked without sugar, adding French vodka (a distillate of grape alcohol) instead. They practiced making bishop by infusing wine on a specially prepared mixture of oranges with the addition of nutmeg and sugar.

In the Lavra, the bishop was usually prepared for the Father Superior’s table and for the “honorary brethren”. In February 1809, 14 bottles of the bishop were made in the cellar from a bucket of white Wallachian wine, 12 of which were presented to the Metropolitan of Kyiv and Halych Serapion (Alexandrovsky) who had been visited Lavra just then. Two other bottles were given to Metropolitan’s rooms. In March of the same year, the bishop was made on the occasion of the Resurrection of Christ to present to the older Lavra brethren.

It should be noted that in the Lavra cellar there always were all the ingredients mentioned in the recipes of the bishop of that time, as well as a decent range of wines in the Lavra wine cellar.

Natalia Lytvyn


Captions to illustrations:
Fig. 1. [untitled] 

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