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I am trying to find an English word for a special drink. This is the recipe:

5 liters of water

1 cup of sugar

500 grams of berries

Mix sugar and water, bring mixture to a boil. Add berries, bring to a boil one more time, boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat.

This drink is typically served in Eastern Europe and it is called "kompot". I hope to find the right word in English.

What would you call this thing? I already asked on various cooking discussion boards, and everybody seems to have a different opinion, so I am not sure what answer is the right one.

Here's a picture to illustrate that it is extremely watery, because most people thought it would be some kind of thick concoction.

Imagine the same drink with a bunch of berries floating at the bottom, not at the top. Not raspberries, but mixed berries such as blackcurrant, strawberry, dried apple slices, etc.

Photo of similar beverage

At this point, I am not even looking for a specific term, I just want to know what would most people call this thing if they didn't know what it was? How would you call it?

Among our ideas were: berry tea, berry drink, berry punch, berry juice, berry infusion, berry cocktail, berry aide.

  • It really is a question that is best directed to a culinary organization. Or, it's entirely possible that there isn't a fixed term for it; there are some dishes that have different names in different regions of the country. What are some of the "opinions" that you've encountered for this - they may all be correct. – Jeff Zeitlin Feb 1 '18 at 20:34
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    What names did people already suggest? – Laurel Feb 1 '18 at 20:35
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    @Cascabel: why'd you do that? I'd be interested to know what guesses people had. – Marti Feb 2 '18 at 2:54
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    @Marti Sorry I didn't explain well enough - it's primarily because answers belong posted as answers. This was the kind of stuff that'd lead to a mess in the comments, given the quality of the guesses. – Cascabel Feb 2 '18 at 3:35
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    @MeMe no answers were removed, only comments. They shouldn't have been posted there in the first place. If somebody has a good guess, they are required to post it as an answer. – rumtscho Feb 3 '18 at 13:32
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The word for your drink is a kompot. Not many people in English speaking countries have heard of it, since the preparation is rarely made, but it is the correct one. It is typically served cold, but there are people who like it at all temperatures.

It is not to be confused with compote - the name is probably etymologically related, but in practice, the compote has much more sugar and fruit, while a kompot is predominantly water.

There is a point to be made that this is not an English word yet, since most people haven't heard of it. Lacking another word that is more well-known, if you take this point of view, the conclusion is that there is no such word in English. I prefer to see it as a real loanword in English, which simply happens to be known to a very limited circle of people yet - words like "regmaglypt" are known to very few people and are still recognized as actual English words.

Venn diagram of possible words

Here a Venn diagram of what your possibilites are. In my experience, when you cannot meet all criteria, using the rare word (and explaining it) is the best choice. Using the overly broad one (berry drink) is worse, because people imagine something entirely different and are misled. Using the incorrect word is the worst choice.

The unspecific and incorrect choices are worth considering when it doesn't matter that people are being misled, e.g. you are translating a movie dialogue and a character asks a friend to pour her that drink, and it doesn't matter for the plot what she drinks. It is still irritating if it happens to take a life on its own though, like "let them eat cake" (the original is "brioche", but the word was unknown in English earlier and the translator chose the incorrect "cake").

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UK English would call it a cordial. Though typically strained as below:

Place 300g mixed fresh or frozen berries, 1½ cups white sugar and ¼ cup lemon juice in a heatproof bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Strain cordial through a sieve, pressing down with the back of a spoon, into a large heatproof jug. Mixed Berry Cordial Recipe | Woolworths https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/recipedetail/4123/mixed-berry-cordial

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    Isn't a cordial alcoholic? – Marti Feb 2 '18 at 2:53
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    @Marti the word is applied to different types of drink, not all of them alcoholic. I wouldn't apply it to this one though, the one Pat Sommer means is basically a simple syrup flavored with plants and the OP uses very little sugar. – rumtscho Feb 2 '18 at 8:06
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    @Marti in British English cordial refers to a non-alcoholic drink unless otherwise specified (with a few brands acting as historical exceptions) – Chris H Feb 2 '18 at 12:44
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    As cordials are usually diluted to serve, and the OP's recipe has ~10x the water of this one, it's like a pre-diluted cordial. – Chris H Feb 2 '18 at 12:48
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    On a similar vein, 'cocktail' might fit, although in the US, they're generally assumed to be alcoholic except for 'cranberry juice cocktail'. It might be worth looking at the juice aisle in a grocery store to see if there's a common term used for the 'sugar water with juice' drinks. – Joe Feb 2 '18 at 12:55
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I would call it a raspberry pressé as in this recipe or raspberryade as in this recipe. Pressés and drinks with names ending in 'ade' are most usually sparkling these days but both terms originally to still drinks.

However your recipe seems a bit weak to me, all the recipes I've seen have a much higher ratio of fruit to water as do the ones under the links.

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    Pressé should refer to the pure juice from squeezed fruits. Tough one can add sugar and water to taste, I think raspberryade would be more in line with lemonade and so on. – Alchimista Feb 2 '18 at 9:31
  • I understand that the picture I posted could be misleading. I downloaded the picture from the Internet to illustrate that the drink is VERY watery. There are no raspberries in this recipe, just mixed berries. Is there such a word as MIXEDBERRYADE? – user64875 Feb 3 '18 at 6:05
  • I compared the recipes that you posted, thanks. There are no oranges or lemons or spices in this drink so it won't qualify for an "ade" since that would be akin lemonade. – user64875 Feb 3 '18 at 6:16
  • @MeMe The recipe I linked to may well have specified spices but most people's idea of a home made lemonade, in the UK at least, would have only lemons, sugar and water in it. The 'ade' ending also does not just apply to oranges and lemons or to fizzy drinks (although fizzy lemonade is the most common). You can buy drinks called appleade, limeade and even berryade so you could add the 'ade' ending to most fruits from which you could make a successful drink (I don't fancy bananade much) and be understood. – BoldBen Feb 4 '18 at 12:41
  • @user64875 - I think the term in that case would be just "berryade"... the lack of specificity would imply any or every kind of berry could be included. I think I've also heard "anyberryade" somewhere, but I couldn't swear to it - again, it would imply the berries included aren't specific. – Megha Feb 8 '18 at 21:46

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