Delicious Sima Recipe Perfect for Spring Celebrations

Welcome to my recipe for Sima, a traditional Finnish Spring Mead. Sima is a sweet, lemon-flavored mead that is mostly consumed during the Vappu festival, a Finnish celebration that marks the arrival of spring. This fermented lemonade is a refreshing and delicious spring drink that you’ll want to make again and again.

As a chef, I am always on the lookout for unique and interesting recipes to add to my collection, and Sima has quickly become one of my favorites. The combination of tart lemons, sweet honey, and carbonation makes for a complex and satisfying flavor profile that is sure to impress.

Whether you’re looking for a fun new drink to serve at your next springtime gathering or just want to try your hand at brewing your own mead, this Sima recipe is the perfect place to start. So grab your funnel and let’s get brewing!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sima (Finnish Spring Mead)
Sima (Finnish Spring Mead)

Are you looking for a refreshing and unique spring drink that will impress your guests? Look no further than Sima, the traditional Finnish spring mead! This delicious fermented lemonade recipe has been enjoyed for centuries during the Vappu (May Day) celebrations in Finland.

What makes Sima so special? For one, it’s incredibly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. All you need is water, lemons, white sugar, brown sugar, and yeast. It’s a budget-friendly option that can be scaled up or down depending on your needs.

But most importantly, Sima is deliciously refreshing and perfect for spring. The lemon juice adds a tangy flavor that is balanced out by the sweetness of the sugar. The yeast gives it a light effervescence that makes it feel like a special treat. It’s a sweet, lemon-flavored mead that is perfect for sipping on a warm spring day.

Not only is Sima delicious, but it’s also a unique addition to any spring celebration. Impress your guests with this traditional Finnish drink that they may have never heard of before. It’s a conversation starter and a way to introduce your friends and family to a new cultural experience.

So what are you waiting for? Give this Sima recipe a try and discover why it’s been a beloved spring drink in Finland for centuries.

Ingredient List

 A refreshing glass of Sima to celebrate the arrival of spring
A refreshing glass of Sima to celebrate the arrival of spring

Before we start brewing our Finnish Spring Mead, we need to gather all the necessary ingredients. Sima is a traditional Finnish drink enjoyed during the Vappu festival on May Day. It’s a fermented lemonade that is typically enjoyed alongside other festivities. This recipe for Finnish Spring Mead or Sima is a sweet mead that is brewed and connected to Finnish Vappu celebrations. Here are the ingredients that we will need to make one gallon of Sima:

Ingredients: 1x (for one gallon of Sima)

  • 14 cups (3.3 liters) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 grams) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) yeast

Ingredients: 2x (for two gallons of Sima)

  • 28 cups (6.6 liters) water
  • 3 cups (700 grams) white sugar
  • 1 cup (220 grams) brown sugar
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) yeast

Ingredients: 3x (for three gallons of Sima)

  • 42 cups (9.9 liters) water
  • 4 1/2 cups (1 kilogram) white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (330 grams) brown sugar
  • 3 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) yeast

As you can see, the recipe for Sima is quite simple, and you may already have most of the ingredients in your pantry. The lemons, water, and yeast are the main components for this Finnish fermented lemonade. The sugars, both white and brown, are added for sweetness and to aid in the fermentation process. The raisins, which are traditionally used in Sima recipes, are optional. They can be added to the bottom of the glass when serving to enhance the flavor and add a little texture to the drink.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Boil the Water

The first step in making this delicious Finnish Spring Mead is to boil 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 cups of white sugar in 14 cups of water. Stir well until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Step 2: Add the Lemons

While the sugar water is cooling, wash and thinly slice 2 large lemons. Add the lemon slices to the cooled sugar water.

Step 3: Add the Yeast

In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 teaspoon of yeast and 1 teaspoon of white sugar. Then, add the yeast mixture to the pot of sugar water and lemon slices. Stir everything together.

Step 4: Let it Ferment

Cover the pot with a clean cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 4-5 days. This will allow the mixture to ferment and turn into a delicious Finnish fermented lemonade.

Step 5: Add Raisins

After the fermentation process is complete, strain out the lemon slices and add 1/2 cup of raisins to the mixture. This will add a delicious flavor and texture to the Sima (Finnish Spring Mead).

Step 6: Bottle the Mead

Using a funnel, pour the Sima into clean, airtight bottles. Leave about an inch of headspace at the top of each bottle. The Sima will continue to ferment in the bottle, so make sure to leave some room for expansion.

Step 7: Store and Chill

Store the bottles of Sima in a cool, dark place for a few days to allow it to carbonate. Once it is carbonated, transfer it to the refrigerator to chill.

Step 8: Enjoy

Serve the Sima (Finnish Spring Mead) chilled and enjoy its refreshing taste. This Finnish drink is a perfect addition to any spring celebration, especially the Vappu festival (May Day).

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect drink to enjoy with friends and family on a sunny day
The perfect drink to enjoy with friends and family on a sunny day

Looking to switch things up with your Sima recipe? Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Honey Sima: Swap out the white and brown sugar for honey to make a more natural and floral version of the drink.

– Lemonade Sima: If you want a more lemon-forward taste, try adding more lemon juice or even lemonade to the mix.

– Sourdough Sima: Feeling adventurous? Use sourdough starter in place of yeast for a tangier, more complex flavor.

– Beer Sima: For a more carbonated and beer-like drink, add a bottle of beer to the Sima mixture before fermentation.

– Fruit Sima: Add different fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries to the mix to give your Sima a unique twist.

Keep in mind that these substitutions may affect the final taste and texture of your Sima, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect recipe for your taste buds.

Serving and Pairing

 A beautiful golden color that will brighten your day
A beautiful golden color that will brighten your day

Sima is a refreshing spring drink that can be served chilled or at room temperature. Traditionally, it is poured into a glass through a funnel and enjoyed with raisins, which have been soaked in the mead. The raisins add a delicious sweetness and texture to the drink.

This Finnish spring mead is a versatile beverage that can be paired with a variety of dishes. It pairs well with light salads, grilled vegetables, and seafood dishes. The lemon flavor in the sima complements the flavors of these dishes, making it a perfect accompaniment.

For those who prefer a sweeter drink, sima can be sweetened with honey or mixed with lemon juice. This sweet version of sima is perfect for pairing with desserts such as fruit tarts or cakes.

Sima can also be used as an ingredient in cocktails. Mix it with vodka, gin or rum to make a delicious lemon flavored mead cocktail.

Serving sima is the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of spring. It’s a light and refreshing drink that is perfect for outdoor gatherings and picnics. Whether you’re celebrating Vappu, May Day, or any other spring occasion, sima is the perfect drink to serve.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A sweet and tangy flavor that will make your taste buds dance
A sweet and tangy flavor that will make your taste buds dance

Sima, the Finnish spring mead, is a refreshing and delightful spring drink that can also be made ahead and stored for later consumption. The good news is that sima can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, allowing you to make it ahead of time for your next gathering or celebration.

To store sima, transfer it to a clean and airtight glass container and keep it in the refrigerator. If you notice that the sima has lost some of its fizz, you can always add more sugar and yeast to re-activate the fermentation process. Just be careful not to add too much yeast, as it can make the sima too alcoholic.

Reheating sima is not recommended, as it can destroy the delicate flavors and aromas. Instead, serve it chilled, over ice, and garnished with raisins and lemon slices. If you prefer a sweeter sima, you can add more sugar or honey to taste.

Sima is a perfect drink for any spring celebration, such as May Day or the Finnish Vappu festival. It is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of foods, including grilled meats, fish, salads, and desserts.

In summary, sima can be made ahead of time and stored for up to a week, making it a convenient drink option for any occasion. Just remember to keep it refrigerated and serve it chilled for the best results.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The bubbles in this drink will tickle your nose and make you smile
The bubbles in this drink will tickle your nose and make you smile

To achieve the perfect Finnish Spring Mead or Sima, there are some tips and tricks that can make all the difference. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect Sima:

1. Use fresh ingredients: Always use fresh ingredients. Fresh lemons and raisins will give your Sima a much better taste than using old ones.

2. Use a funnel: When pouring the water into the bottles, use a funnel to avoid spilling the water.

3. Use the right yeast: Make sure to use the right yeast for your Sima. Bread yeast is not recommended, as it can give your Sima a bread-like taste. Use wine yeast or champagne yeast to ferment your Sima.

4. Ferment in a warm place: To help the fermentation process, place the bottles of Sima in a warm place, around 70-75°F (21-24°C).

5. Don’t over-ferment: Be careful not to over-ferment your Sima. If left too long, it can become too sour or even turn into vinegar.

6. Add sugar slowly: When adding sugar, make sure to add it slowly, stirring until it dissolves. Adding too much sugar too quickly can cause the yeast to create too much alcohol, which can affect the taste of your Sima.

7. Chill before serving: For the best taste, chill your Sima before serving. This will help bring out the flavors and make it more refreshing.

8. Experiment with variations: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of the recipe. You can try adding different fruits or spices to create your own unique Sima flavor.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious and refreshing Finnish Spring Mead or Sima that you’ll enjoy drinking and sharing with your friends and family.


Before wrapping up this article, let me answer some frequently asked questions about this Sima (Finnish Spring Mead) recipe. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced brewer, you may have some doubts about the ingredients, the process, or the outcome of this recipe. Therefore, I have compiled some of the most common questions and provided comprehensive answers to help you make the most out of your Sima brewing experience. Keep reading to find out more!

What is sima in Finnish?

In the Kalevala, Elias Lönnrot referred to a beverage as sima, which was originally a term for honey in Finnish.

How much alcohol is in sima?

Sima is a classic Finnish drink that is typically enjoyed during the May Day festivities. This lemon-flavored mead is often served alongside sweet treats like funnel cakes or sugar coated donuts. The fermentation process used in making sima adds a delightful effervescence to the drink, but the alcohol content remains quite low, typically ranging from 0.5-0.8%.

Is sima a probiotic?

Discover a refreshing and nourishing probiotic drink recipe from Finland called Sima. This recipe is simple and uses common ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry.

Do Finns drink mead?

In Finland, there is a classic drink known as Sima that is perfect for those who prefer a low-alcohol beverage. This refreshing drink is made using a combination of honey, sugar, yeast (using sourdough starter), water, and lemons. To add some flavor, a few raisins are placed in each bottle, and once these raisins float to the top, the Sima is ready to be enjoyed. This drink is traditionally served during the May Day festivities.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a refreshing and easy-to-make drink to celebrate the arrival of spring, Finnish Sima is the perfect choice. This fermented lemonade is sweet, tangy, and slightly alcoholic, making it a unique and delightful addition to any May Day celebration or spring gathering.

With its simple ingredient list and straightforward recipe, Sima is a drink that anyone can make at home, even if you’ve never brewed anything before. And with the various substitutions and variations available, you can customize this drink to suit your taste.

So next time you’re in the mood for a lemon-flavored mead, try making Finnish Sima. It’s a drink that’s been enjoyed in Finland for generations and is now gaining popularity around the world. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed with the results!

Sima (Finnish Spring Mead) Recipe

The site where I found this said it’s fine for kids if they drink it as soon as the raisins start to float, but it becomes slightly intoxicating as it ferments.

  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, plus sugar for bottles
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 25 raisins
  1. Bring the water to a steady boil.
  2. Meanwhile, use a zester or vegetable peeler to remove the yellow outer rind from the lemons and place in a large non-metal, heatproof container.
  3. Peel, or trim, off the white rind and discard.
  4. Slice the lemons and place in the container with the zest. Add the brown sugar and white sugar.
  5. When the water boils, add it to the container with the lemons and sugar.
  6. Let it cool to lukewarm, then stir in the yeast.
  7. Cover and allow to sit out at room temperature for 24-48 hours, or until surface begins to bubble slightly.
  8. Strain the liquid into clean containers about 1 quart in size. Add 5-6 raisins and 1 tsp sugar to each container. Seal tightly and refrigerate 2-5 days, or until raisins float to the surface.
  9. Keep refrigerated and serve cool.
< 30 Mins, Beverages, European, Finnish, For Large Groups, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Scandinavian

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