Cookbook:Traditional Finnish Lemon Mead (Sima)
|Traditional Finnish Lemon Mead (Sima)
|Active time: 30 minutes
Fermentation: 4 days
Sima is a Finnish, lemon-flavored mead mostly consumed during the celebrations of the 1st of May. A glass of sima is traditionally accompanied by a funnel cake or sugar coated donut.
The purpose of the fermentation is mainly to make the drink bubbly; the alcohol content of traditionally prepared sima is only 0.5-0.8%. As the drink is meant to be consumed in reasonable quantities anyway, a glass of sima is generally considered suitable for children over five years of age.
Ingredients[edit | edit source]
- 8 litres water
- 500 g brown sugar
- 500 g white sugar
- 2–3 lemons
- ¼ tsp yeast (ordinary baker's yeast, either fresh or dry)
- 1 handful of raisins
Equipment[edit | edit source]
- Container large enough to hold all of the sima (a big plastic bucket for example)
- Empty bottles
Procedure[edit | edit source]
First day[edit | edit source]
- Sterilize all of your equipment. A thorough process is described in the mead recipe. However, as the fermentation time of sima is very short (only a few days) and it is usually consumed within a week or so, just washing the bucket and bottles well and then rinsing them with boiling water right before using is generally enough to prevent spoiling.
- Boil 4 litres of water.
- Wash the lemons well and peel the zest, being careful not to include the bitter white pith. Put the zest into your container.
- Slice the lemons and remove the white pith from around the slices. Add the slices into the container.
- Add all the sugar into the container with the lemons.
- Pour the boiling water on top, and mix well until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Add 4 litres of cold water so that the mixture will be lukewarm, the right temperature for the yeast to activate. If unsure, check with a thermometer—the temperature should be between 35°C and 45°C.
- When the temperature is right, add the yeast. One way is to take a small cup of the mixture from the container, dissolve the yeast in it and then mix it back. Just dropping a crumb of fresh yeast into the container will also work.
- Let it stand overnight in room temperature.
Second day[edit | edit source]
- Bottle it on the next day: add one spoonful of sugar and a few raisins to each bottle before you pour the sima in.
- After bottling, let the bottles stand at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 2 more days. The raisins will bloat up and float to the surface.
- Move the bottles to your refrigerator. The sima is ready, and should be served cold. It will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.
Notes, tips and variations[edit | edit source]
- For a simpler process, just squeeze in the juice of 1–2 lemons instead of removing the pith.
- You may use 1 kg brown sugar instead of mixing white and brown to make a darker sima with a stronger brown sugar flavour.
- All the sugar may optionally be replaced with 1 kg honey.
- You can put the bottled sima into the refrigerator immediately instead of fermenting overnight at room temperature. This will cause the fermentation to be slower; the sima will be ready in approximately 5–7 days.
- Plastic soda bottles are recommended as pressure can build up in the bottles. An exploding plastic bottle is less dangerous than an exploding glass bottle.
References[edit | edit source]
- "Annatko lastesi juoda simaa? – "Hyvä tiedostaa juoman alkoholipitoisuus"". Ilta-Sanomat. 14 April 2015.