Finnish Spring Mead - Sima Recipe

Group of lemons
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  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 quarts (about 20 servings)
Ratings (5)

Celebrate the arrival of warmer weather by preparing Finnish Spring Mead, a lightly fermented lemonade. If you drink this sparkling beverage as soon as the raisins float, it's fine to serve to the kids as well! But be warned—Sima transforms from being slightly bubbly to being slightly intoxicating the longer that it ferments.

What You'll Need

  • 1-gallon water
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar plus sugar for bottles
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast

How to Make It

  1. Bring the water to a steady boil. In the meantime, use a lemon zester or a potato peeler to remove the outer yellow rind of the lemons in strips, placing these in a large glass or plastic (non-metal and heat-proof) container. Peel or trim off the bitter inner white rind of the lemons and discard. Slice the lemons and place in a container with the zest, adding brown and white sugar.
  2. Once the water boils, pour it into the container with the lemons and sugar. Let cool to lukewarm, then stir in yeast. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours (and up to 48 hours), or until surface begins to bubble slightly.
  1. Strain the liquid into clean glass bottles, quart jars, or plastic containers. Add 5-6 raisins and 1 teaspoon sugar to each bottle. Seal tightly and refrigerate for 2-5 days, or until the raisins float at the top of the bottles.
  2. Keep refrigerated and serve cool.