Sima – Finnish Spring Mead
My first batch of Sima was meant for cocktails, but it’s so good most was quaffed straight up. My curiosity led me to the discovery of something different, refreshing and delicious that I constantly crave.
What Is Finnish Spring Mead?
Traditional mead arrived in Finland in the 1500’s as a full strength, honey based alcoholic beverage. Two hundred years later, spring mead was developed for a lighter, less alcoholic beverage. Made with sugar, yeast, lemons and raisins it is perfect for warm weather. Call it a lightly carbonated, low alcohol thirst-quenching version of lemonade if you will.
Writing about it while experiencing beautiful spring weather has triggered a serious case of the wants, so I’m cutting this short. I have some Sima to make and I might save a portion of it for an After the Goldrush, that cocktail I was talking about!
- 14 cups of water
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 additional teaspoons of sugar – reserved
- 2 lemons – peeled and thinly sliced
- Bread or wine yeast
- 20 golden raisins
- Bring the water, brown sugar and the cup of white sugar to a boil and stir until it’s dissolved, then turn off the heat
- Peel the lemons, being careful to remove all the white pith and slice them thinly
- Add the lemon slices when you turn off the heat to the boiling water
- Stir briefly and allow it to steep until it cools to the recommended temperature for your yeast, usually around 70 degrees
- Warning: If the water is too hot it will kill your yeast and if it’s too cold the yeast will not activate
- Pour the sugared water into a gallon glass jar and add the yeast
- Stir briefly, cover the jar and let it set at room temperature for 8-12 hours
- When you notice tiny bubbles around the perimeter add a teaspoon of the white sugar to each of four quart mason jars
- Fill the jars equally with the fermenting liquid and add 5 raisins to each jar
- Seal tightly with fermentation lids and let them stand at room temperature until the raisins have risen to the top and there are bubbles around the perimeter – about a day or two. The longer you let it stand the fizzier and more alcoholic it will become
- Strain into clean jars and refrigerate until ready to serve