May Day "Sima"


Hauskaa Vappua or Happy May Day! Today in Finland people will gather celebrate this public holiday known as Vappua in carnival-style across the country. People of all ages will gather to party outside, picnic, wear decorative clothing and cheers many new friends. To further celebrate this holiday, some Finns also enjoy making a traditional lemonade called "Sima" from lemons, brown sugar, and yeast (contains very little alcohol). Others will also make doughnuts called "Munkki", a crisp pastry fried in oil and covered in tons of sugar, or "Tippaleipä" which is more like a funnel cake. As someone with a set of Finnish grandparents, I can tell you that each of these things are tasty delicious! 
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How to Make Finnish Sima
Here is how to make your own home-brewed slightly alcoholic bubbly lemondade (also a whole lot cheaper than trying to make beer or wine at home).
  • 7 cups water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 lemons, washed and thinly sliced (you can add more if you prefer)
  • A dash or 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 10-15 raisins
In a large pot, bring your water to a boil.  Add your lemon slices to the water (some like to remove the rind, but I like to leave it on for looks and extra flavour. Add the brown sugar, 1 cup of the white sugar and stir until it is fully dissolved.  Let the mixture cool until it is lukewarm. Transfer the liquid to your glass container, then add your yeast and give a good stir.  Partially cover and let sit for 24 hours at room temperature.  Tiny bubbles should start to form.  

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Next, strain the liquid into clean glass bottles.  Place one teaspoon of sugar per quart of liquid as well approximately 4-5 raisins.  Seal tightly and either refrigerate or store in a cool dry place for about 2-3 days, or until all the raisins have all risen to the top of the bottles.  You may need to release some pressure from the bottles from time to time, if necessary. Then invite over some friends and "Cheers" or as the Finns say "Kippis"


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