Sometime ago a friend told us about a special drink her son had made - a fizzy, lemon drink. I knew E would be interested because he loves anything lemon, enjoys being able to make things himself and anything fizzy is an unusual treat around here. The friend was kind enough to share her recipe and I tucked it away in E's folder and the months went by.
Then on Saturday I was looking through a library book - Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style - and saw a Swedish drink called Mead that looked and sounded very much like the Sima that our friend had let us sample. I found her Sima recipe again and sure enough...it was very similar.
Then the next day E checked on them and two of the bottles had raisins floating and tiny bubbles in the neck. He was thrilled. Of course, he had to sample immediately...and was delighted.
The other bottles are in the fridge and I have a feeling they won't last long. ;-) He wants to make this regularly and I'm hoping he will make it for May day as the start of a new tradition. We've read that Sima is a traditional May Day drink in Finland and who doesn't like a special drink to celebrate Beltane - the renewal of nature and the beginning of the bright half of the year?
Speaking of that "bright" half of the year, rather than waiting patiently for it to bring us blooms, I decided to "force" the issue and bring in some Forsythia to force. The branches of yellow flowers bring a bit of cheer to our living space!
Edited to add recipe -
Here is the recipe from our friend - we actually used two lemons and, after removing the zest from them, instead of slicing them we juiced them so that we wouldn't have to bother removing the white pith. You can see another similar recipe and directions here.
5 liters water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. yeast
additional granulated sugar and raisins
Remove zest from lemon and place in a large non-aluminum pot. Slice the lemon and set aside. Add the water and sugars to the pot and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugars dissolve. Remove from heat, cover and cool to 110 degrees F. Stir in lemon slices and yeast. Cover and let stand at room temperature until the next day. Bubbles should appear. Strain through a sieve and fill five 1 liter bottles. Add 1 tsp. sugar to each bottle and 2 raisins. Seal and store in a cool place until raisins rise to the surface (2-4 days), Chill until ready to serve.