Cherry Kissel for Holiday Cocktails

There is something a little fairy tale like about Cherry Kissel and rightly so as it’s mythical properties stem from a Russian fairy tale and Russians also refer to heaven or paradise as a place having, “milky rivers flowing past kissel banks.” The land of marvels and its treats seem to fit into the spirit of the holidays very well just like Turkish Delights in The Chronicles of Narnia, the beautiful red color of Cherry Kissel served in pretty china or crystal glassware exudes holiday flavor in my mind.


To this day kissel continues to be enjoyed in many forms and varieties served in cups for drinking or in bowls to be eaten with a spoon. It can be hot or cold, firm or liquid, and made using many kinds of fruits. The most popular in Russia are cranberries, cherries and red currants. I have made Cherry Kissel with a hint of raspberries for a holiday drink and considering the cold weather, I suggest serving it warm.  I think this warm Raspberry and Cherry Kissel makes a wonderful alternative to a hot apple cider or mulled wine during the winter holiday season.


Raspberry Cherry Kissel


1 cup pitted cherries, fresh or frozen

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup granulated sugar

5-6 cups water

3 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in ¾ cup cold water

2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Wash the cherries and raspberries and place them in a non-oxidizing pan. Cover with water, bring to boil and simmer for about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Strain through cheesecloth.
  3. Add sugar and mix well. Heat to boil, constantly removing the foam from surface.
  4. Add lemon juice, which will preserve the bright color and enhance the taste.
  5. Stir-in the corn starch dissolved in the cold water. Cook stirring until just starts to boil.
  6. Pour into glasses or cups and serve warm or chilled.

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