On this day in 1377, a large force of Russian troops are defeated by a smaller Mongol force in the Battle on Pyana River. Russia at that time was a land ruled by princes who would normally fight amongst themselves for power and land, but when they learned the Mongols were planning to invade the town of Nizhny Novgorod they banded together and all set forces to meet and repel the invaders.
The combined forces assembled in an area some distance from the river and waited for the Mongols to arrive, but it was August and it was hot. After a few days the troops decided to withdraw to the river to seek refuge from the heat and they also decided to seek out some alcohol to pass the time before the impending battle. When they came upon stores of Mead, ale, and beer from the locals, the party began.
As the Mongol force drew closer, they were informed of the drunk state of the Russian troops and decided to split up into five groups and surround the defending army. In the early morning of August 2nd, the Mongols launched a surprise attack and found the Russian forces either still drunk or very hung over.
Surrounded on all sides and unable to organize, most of the Russians were killed and the their commanders who tried to flee, drowned crossing the Pyana river.
Origianlly called the Piana River it became known as the Pyana (drunk) River after the battle.
2 1/2 oz Cold River Gin
1 oz Elderflower syrup
3 oz Prosecco
Shake and strain gin & syrup, top with Prosecco. Garnish with candied ginger