What Is Sima And When Is It Served?

A glass of ice-cold lemonade on a spring or summer day is a favorite amongst many, so throw in a little fermentation, and you'll find a match made in heaven, sima. Sima is similar to mead or honey wine and is just one of the many variations of it. Sima can also be referred to as lemon soda.

The fermented lemonade of sorts is just water, sugar, lemon, and yeast and is consumed by both children and adults. It is only fermented a little bit, meaning children aren't just running around drinking alcohol. However, the longer it ferments, the more intoxicating it will surely become.

Sima's sweet and tangy flavor isn't just drunk casually, such as wine or a good beer. By the 18th century, sima became a popular drink amongst all the people in Finland and has now become much more than a drink. It is the stable to welcome in an utmost blooming season.

Bringing in spring

Sima is a special drink to those in Finland and is used to celebrate Vappu, or May Day. A holiday that is all about welcoming spring time, per the BBC. It is a drink that is passed around amongst the locals who are out celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

May Day has been celebrated as far back as 240 BC, according to In Jennies Kitchen. It has been said that the drink was traditionally served with Finnish May Day funnel cakes. They are a bit smaller than the usual ones and tend to resemble a bird's nest. When paired together, the sweet funnel cake and fresh yet slightly bitter bounce flavors off of each other well.

The Vappu festivals resemble a fair of sorts and bring out everyone to enjoy food, parades, and much more. Many wear white summer hats and unique costumes.

How to make sima at home

Sima isn't really something that you can just go and buy, well, anywhere for that matter. When doing a quick search on places to get Sima in the U.S., you instead get "orders sims online here." Not really the same thing. However, there is an easy way to experience this Finnish classic at home.

All you will need is water, lemons, brown and white sugar, yeast, and apparently raisins. While sima does translate to mead, it no longer takes honey to make, which is what mead is. Nonetheless, it is traditionally still considered a mead in Finland.

First get your water to a steady boil, and while it is rumbling away, peel off the white rind around your lemons and make sure to remove the yellow rind. Once they are peeled, place in a heat-proof container.

Place the lemons, sugars, and zest into your heat-proof container and pour the boiling water direction over the ingredients and once it is lukewarm, add in the yeast. Seal shut and let it sit for 24 hours at room temp. Once the surface begins to bubble you can strain the liquid and store in clear containers.

The raisins are added to indicate when it is ready. If they are floating at the top, it is safe for kids to drink. So, add a few into each container with some sugar and let sit in the fridge for a few days. Then enjoy a cold sip while taking in the fresh spring air.