May Day Sima ‒ Vappusima

The must have drink for May Day or Vappu is low-alcohol mead known as sima in Finland. Last year I made some rhubarb sima for the occasion, this year I was planning to have dandelion mead but the preceding week turned out so busy I didn't have the time for picking flowers. So instead, I brewed a portion of the basic type so strongly associated with Vappu.

I asked my spouse to bring me couple of lemons for this but I should've been more precise: he bought a whole kilogram. So I decided to double the lemon amount from what it said on the sugar package. (Also, we've been having a lot of noodle soups imitating Thai cuisine lately...) Because of that and the fact I only used fariini sugar my version tastes a bit stronger than most simas. If you'd rather have it light you can replace half of the fariini with white sugar and use only 1-2 lemons.

- 4 l water
- 4 lemons
- 1 pea-size piece of fresh yeast
- 2 dl raisins
- 500 g fariini sugar (A byproduct of sugar making, highly aromatic and moist, not as sweet as pure sugar. I haven't found any English name for the stuff. However, I've been told dark muscovado and molasses share a similar taste but I can't guarantee this is the right amount for them.)

Wash, then slice (or smooth down) the lemons. Bring half of the water to a boil. Pour into a a fermentation vessel. Dissolve the sugar in it (save about two tablespoonfuls), then throw in the lemon slices and the rest of the water as well. When the water has cooled down to the room temperature you can add the yeast. Seal the lid air tight but don't forget the fermentation lock.

Next day, wash and sterilize (for example with boiling water) some empty glass bottles. Portion the remaining sugar and the raisins into the bottles. Remove the lemons and bottle the mead. Seal the bottles. The sima is ready to drink when the raisins have started floating. (This normally takes 2-3 days.)

Enjoy chilled with donuts or wieners while listening to left-wing political speeches and wearing a silly hat.

Nutritional values / 4 l:
energy 2240 kcal
fat 4 g
protein 5 g
carbohydrates 529 g
fiber 14 g


  1. I instantly became thirsty! I guess this is something you can make although Vappu is over.. ;)

  2. Sure you can! Some people are just less limited than others. ;)

  3. the fariini sugar I sometimes replace with caramelized 'normal' sugar if I don't have any of it at home ... work's fine and give a nice flavour and colour.

  4. There's an interesting tip. Thanks!


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