Total Time
48hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 48 hrs

Sima is a sweat mead that is an essential seasonal brew connected with the Finnish Vappu festival. It is usually spiced by adding both the flesh and rind of a lemon. During secondary fermentation raisins are added to control the amount of sugars and to act as an indicator of readiness for consumption — they will rise to the top of the bottle when the drink is ready. Sima is usually accompanied by munkkeja or Tippaleivät (donuts and other pastries). Mead is ready after 2-3 days.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash the lemons and peel them thinly. Remove the pith. Slice the lemons and place them with the peel and sugar in a sufficiently large vessel.
  2. Bring half of the water to the boil and pour it over the lemons, peel, honey or molasses and sugar. Stir and leave to stand covered for a while. Add the rest of the water cold. When the liquid is lukewarm add the yeast.
  3. Keep the mead at room temperature until it starts to ferment, i.e. about one day. Put a couple of raisins and 1 tsp of sugar into clean bottles, and strain the mead into the bottles. Loosely cork the bottles and store them in a cool place. The mead is ready when the raisins rise to the surface.


Most Helpful

I had great results from this recipe! I added a bit of cinnamon and substituted one of the lemons with a small orange. I used Perrier mineral water because the bottles were nice and I wanted to use them to put the mead in. After they sat for about 2 days, I started moving them to the refrigerator one at a time to be consumed, but I've noticed that the bottles that remained in the cabinet (about 12 days now) are very carbonated. I've started bleeding off some of the pressure for fear that they might explode. The alcohol content seems to be similar to beer or maybe a weaker wine. All in all, amazing recipe, tastes great, and not overly difficult to make. Thanks for sharing!

anthony.castleberry December 29, 2009

I am making this mead right now for the first time, and at my husbands request added a little bit of cinnamon to the mixture. I do have a question though, the recipe doesn't specify how many bottles to use so I'm not sure how much sugar to add or rasins to put in. I mean would it turn out the same if I used one teaspoon of sugar, and two big bottles, as it would If I divided it up into smaller bottles and used the same amount of sugar? I'm not sure what I should do.

alhardin July 30, 2009

I love this mead, and it was worth the wait. I halved the recipe, and I discovered that thin-skinned lemons work best, for me at least. I wasn't sure if the "sufficiently large vessel" needed to be non-reactive, so I didn't take chances and used my ceramic crockpot insert. Thanks, NcMysteryShopper! Made for Beverage Tag.

mersaydees May 11, 2008

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