Sima is a low-alcohol sparkling mead that is traditionally associated with May Day in Finland. You can find it in for sale in the stores, but with a little bit of effort you can make your own. Homemade sima is far superior to the storebought variety.
A sima recipe:
You will need:
4 quarts of water
1.25 cups brown sugar
1.25 cups white sugar (if you want a darker sima, substitute the white sugar with brown sugar)
the juice of 2 lemons
1/5 tsp fresh yeast (a piece about the size of a fresh pea)
Bring half of the water to a boil in a kettle. Add the sugar and stir well. Add the rest of the water and the lemon juice. Let the mixture cool until it is lukewarm. Soak the yeast in a bit of the liquid and then add to the mixture and stir well. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 1 day.
Now it is time to transfer the mixture to bottles. Add a teaspoon of sugar and a few raisins to each bottle before adding the liquid. Cap the bottles - but not too tight! The fermentation process produces gases which need to get out of the bottles. If the caps are too tight you can end up with quite a mess on your hands.
When the raisins rise to the top of the bottles, the sima is done. At room temperature this should take about 3 days.
Sima is best when served chilled. Enjoy on May Day or at any time of the year.