Sima - Finnish Mead
Sima is a sweat mead that is an essential seasonal brew connected with the Finnish Vappu festival. It is usually spiced by adding both the flesh and rind of a lemon. During secondary fermentation raisins are added to control the amount of sugars and to act as an indicator of readiness for consumption — they will rise to the top of the bottle when the drink is ready. Sima is usually accompanied by munkkeja or Tippaleivät (donuts and other pastries). Mead is ready after 2-3 days.
- 1 gallon mineral water
- 1 quart mineral water
- 12 ounces sugar
- 12 ounces brown sugar
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast
Wash the lemons and peel them thinly. Remove the pith. Slice the lemons and place them with the peel and sugar in a sufficiently large vessel.
Bring half of the water to the boil and pour it over the lemons, peel, honey or molasses and sugar. Stir and leave to stand covered for a while. Add the rest of the water cold. When the liquid is lukewarm add the yeast.
Keep the mead at room temperature until it starts to ferment, i.e. about one day. Put a couple of raisins and 1 tsp of sugar into clean bottles, and strain the mead into the bottles. Loosely cork the bottles and store them in a cool place.
The mead is ready when the raisins rise to the surface.