From Wikipedia: Sima is a sweet mead, still an essential seasonal, sparkling 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 swell by absorbing carbon dioxide and rise to the top of the bottle when the drink is ready. Sima is usually accompanied by munkki (a donut), tippaleipä (a special Vappu funnel cake) or rosetti (a rosette).
I had never even heard of it before until I saw it on another blog and, after it got my interest, I did like I always do, looked it up, added some recipes together and made my own. However, I was skeptical. All of these drinks that I have made that involve yeast..taste like yeast and not in the nice bread way...in the- "hey, let's eat some raw yeast"- way. Just not to my liking. But we are talking a drink made for a festival here, just seemed like it might be good. Plus it only took 2 lemons, some sugar, a tiny bit of yeast and a few raisins. All of which I had on hand. So here is what I came up with.
5 qts. of water
2 lemons (well washed)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar (plus several teaspoons)
1/8 tsp active dry yeast
I made 5 qts. originally thinking I would put them in quart jars and then changed my mind and used a gallon jug and one quart jar. It just was easier to fit in my frig.
With a vegetable peeler slice of the very thin yellow peel of the lemons without getting the white part of the rind in it.
Put these in a pot. Peel the white rind off the lemons and discard. Slice the lemons thinly and add to your pot.
Add the water and sugars (except teaspoons of white sugar). Bring to a boil then turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature (do not get anxious, make sure it is room temperature).
Place in a non metallic container (I used a large plastic bowl). Add your yeast. Allow to set overnight in a warm place (I had mine in my oven). The next day strain the mixture and into your jars or plastic jug or whatever you are using. Add two teaspoons of sugar per quart.
Add your raisins. Place back in your warm place until the raisins have risen to the top (this could take hours or it could take a few days. Mine was ready after being left about 8 hours). It is then ready to drink. Place it in the frig to get cold before tasting.