Sima (Finnish Spring Mead)

Group of lemons
didyk/Creative RF/Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
44 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 44
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 9mg 1%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Celebrate the arrival of warmer weather by preparing Finnish spring mead, a lightly fermented lemonade. If you drink this sparkling beverage as soon as the raisins float, it's fine to serve to the kids as well! But be warned—Sima transforms from being slightly bubbly to being slightly intoxicating the longer that it ferments.


  • 1 gallon of water
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (plus sugar for bottles)
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 5 to 6 raisins

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring the water to a steady boil.

  3. Peel or trim off the bitter inner white rind of the lemons and discard.

  4. In the meantime, use a lemon zester or a potato peeler to remove the outer yellow rind of the lemons in strips, placing these in a large glass or plastic (non-metal and heat-proof) container.

  5. Slice the lemons and place in a container with the zest, adding brown and white sugar.

  6. Once the water boils, pour it into the container with the lemons and sugar. Let cool to lukewarm, then stir in yeast.

  7. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours (and up to 48 hours), or until surface begins to bubble slightly.

  8. Strain the liquid into clean glass bottles, quart jars, or plastic containers.

  9. Add 5 to 6 raisins and 1 teaspoon sugar to each bottle.

  10. Seal tightly and refrigerate for 2 to 5 days, or until the raisins float at the top of the bottles.

  11. Keep refrigerated and serve cool.

  12. Enjoy!