Sima, traditional labor day drink recipe

Time to prepare Sima – the traditional labor day drink!

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The Finnish labor day is around the corner and it’s time for me to start the preparations. 🙂 I’ll be celebrating it with my friends and each one of us will be bringing food and drinks to the party. I decided to make Sima (like every year before) and Finnish doughnuts. I’m also gonna make some nice small snacks, most likely Toast Skagen – depending a bit on what the others will be bringing. 🙂

Sima is a traditional labor day drink here in the North. This old-style lemon soda recipe is my favorite and I prepare it several times a year.  It’s easy to prepare and surely healthier than the store bought sodas!

Sima used to be the most popular alcoholic beverage in Northern Europe.The original recipe contained honey instead of sugar and the alcohol content was higher because of the longer brewing time and yeast/sugar ratio. Sometimes my Sima still gets a low alcohol content after I’ve forgotten to drink it within a week – nothing like the home beer though!

Raisins are added in the bottling phase to indicate when the beverage is finished, normally this takes around three days in room temperature. When the raisins start floating the drink is ready to be enjoyed!

4 comments on “Time to prepare Sima – the traditional labor day drink!Add yours →

  1. hi Veera again,

    yes….i hope it is not too late to make sima yet….
    could you kindly tell me what kind yeast do you use in this recipe please?
    fresh yeast? dry yeast? do you mind give me the name in finnish please….btw i will also try to make your labour day donut too^^ thanks once again.


    1. Hi TY!
      I prepared mine two days ago and it should be ready for drinking tomorrow. You can still try making it, but it normally takes around 3 days to be ready. You can try increasing the room temperature to make it brew a little faster. I use fresh yeast in all of my recipes. 🙂
      I hope that your doughnuts work out great! My labor day menu will be a bit of an unconventional mix of dishes this year because I really want to have a gyoza party, but don’t want to leave the doughnuts and sima out… so I’ll just serve both Japanese and Finnish dishes. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for your kind reply again,.

    It is so interesting to use fresh yeast in making drinks. I thought it was some sort of special beer brewing yeast In Finland instead of fresh yeast . Thank you, thats great I can my fresh yeast in the fridge and make it today ☺️

    Have a great party lol 🥳(^_^)

    1. Yeah, it sounds odd to me as well but it works! You just have to be very careful not to use too much fresh yeast, otherwise you can start tasting it in the drink. Traditional Finnish recipes use fresh yeast in beverages, maybe that was the only product available back in the day. I’ve made apple cider at home and for that I ordered a special yeast from! 🙂

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