Juniper Sima ‒ Katajasima

Unlike in most of the Europe, in Finland May Day is a huge carnival. Students may start a moist celebration even a week early. Streets are full of paper streamers and balloons. The eve is usually reserved for heavy drinking and the actual day off has traditionally had more political approach. Especially leftists are famous for their parades and speeches, though they're not what they used to be when the Soviet Union was still alive and kicking. It doesn't really resemble the more traditional spring celebration hela at all and could be more accurately described as a newcomer tradition.

Me and couple of my friends have usually hold a picnic on the May Day eve, inside since it's usually raining and as far as possible from all that merry-go-round. This year our health care professionals had to work on the eve, so we moved the partying for today. Since there isn't much growing outside yet I thought this year I'd try spicing my traditional sima with juniper berries.

- 4 litres water
- 500 g farin sugar (Muscovado would probably work just as well, but you might condsider replacing some of it with regular sugar.)
-  1 dl juniper berries
- about 50 g piece of ginger
- a fingertip sized piece of fresh yeast

Crush the juniper berries a little so they're more ready to release their aroma. Peel and chop the ginger. Put both of them into a bucket that is able to hold the whole portion. Boil 2 litres water and pour over the spices. Add the sugar and the rest of the water straight from the tap. Mix it all. When the water has cooled down to lukewarm, you may let the yeast loose. Cover the bucket.

Wait a day or even two. Stir the liquid a few times. Through a filter, pour the sima into bottles. Add a teaspoonful of sugar into each of them if you want your sima to sprinkle. The drink is ready in three days and at its best after a week. Remember to monitor the pressure isn't driving it out of the bottles before you want it out.

Here's an apropriate song to accompany the tasting.

Nutritional values / 4 l:
energy 1950 kcal
fat 0 g
protein 1 g
carbohydrates 485 g
fiber 0 g


  1. Your posts are always so interesting! Over here the 1st of May is filled with political speeches and Union stuff, too. But that's about it. Oh, and I love juniper berries! Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. That's quite interesting too! And I think this is even a bigger compliment considering what a high-quality food blog you host yourself. :)


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