|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 27g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Total Sugars 21g|
|Vitamin C 25mg||127%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Celebrate the arrival of warmer weather by preparing Finnish sima. A traditional drink commonly prepared on the first day of May to welcome spring, it's a lightly fermented lemonade. It's easy and quick to make and tastes like a yeasty lemon soda with a hint of caramel. Sima is also very refreshing.
In Finland, sima was traditionally made with honey and fermented for a long time to produce a mead-like wine with a good amount of alcohol. Today, it's most often fermented for just a few days to create a naturally carbonated beverage that's lightly alcoholic if fermented too long.
This sima recipe flavors water with fresh lemon zest and slices. Rather than honey, it uses a combination of brown and white sugar, while regular baker's yeast is added to begin fermentation. After a day of rest, it's bottled with a little more sugar and a few raisins. A foolproof way to know when it's done—the raisins will float once the sima is fully carbonated.
As with any naturally fermented drink, sima transforms from being slightly bubbly to slightly intoxicating the longer it's allowed to ferment. If you drink it as soon as the raisins float, it's fine to serve to the kids. It typically doesn't get stronger than 1 percent alcohol by volume, but keeping the timing in mind is important. Since you can't stop fermentation, it's best to make only as much as you'll drink within a day or so.
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
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. Peel or trim off the bitter inner white rind of the lemons and discard.
Place the prepared lemon strips in a large glass or plastic (nonmetal and heatproof) container.
Slice the peeled lemons and place them in the container with the zest, along with the brown sugar and white sugar.
Once the water boils, pour it into the container with the lemons and sugar. Let it cool to lukewarm, then stir in the yeast.
Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours (and up to 48 hours), or until the surface begins to bubble slightly.
Strain the liquid into clean glass bottles, quart jars, or plastic containers.
Add 5 to 6 raisins and 1 teaspoon sugar to each bottle.
Seal tightly and refrigerate for two to five days, or until the raisins float to the top of the bottles.
Keep refrigerated and serve cool.