Sima is a drink that is normally consumed around Vappu (May Day) in Finland but it starts getting sold around about now. It’s a lemony gingerbeery fizzy drink. It’s sold already-made in bottles or as a make-it-yourself box of “goo” and yeast sachets or you can make it totally from scratch. I tasted it last year and liked it so this year I thought I would try my hand at making a batch of the make-it-yourself box of “goo” and yeast sachets. Something very important to now is that this takes 3 days to make… so keep that in mind.
The instructions are helpfully printed on the box and are very easy to follow if you read Finnish or Swedish. I, unhelpfully, do not read either (although sometimes my Afrikaans does help with the Swedish) so I asked my Finnish housemate to translate the instructions for me and I thought I would share the recipe here.
Recipe for homemade Sima from a box (Kotisima)
1 sachet of goo (provided for you in the box)
1 sachet of yeast (provided for you in the box)
2L luke warm water
200 ml sugar
Empty a sachet of goo into the 2L of luke warm water (hint: put the closed sachet of goo into a cup of boiling water to lower the viscosity of the goo so that it will be easier to get out of the sachet).
Sprinkle the sachet of yeast over the water.
Put the sima somewhere out of the way and leave for 24 hours.
24 hours later
Add all the sugar. Stir a bit. It will not all dissolve
If your drink is not already in a bottle, put it in a bottle now. If you don’t have a 2L bottle put it in small bottles but make sure each bottle gets equal amounts of sugar. Put some raisins in each bottle. Close the bottles so that they are airtight. And leave in the fridge or in a cool place for two days.
As the yeast ferments, bubbles are formed and the raisins rise.
After two days, the sima is ready for drinking. Enjoy as is. If the flavour is too strong you can add some cold water. Eat with a doughnut or makkara and you will have a very Finnish moment.
If you really want to make it from scratch here’s a recipe I found online (I haven’t tried it… so don’t hate me if it doesn’t work, but it looks pretty legit)