Sima – Finnish Mead

As I started writing up this article on sima I realized my timing couldn’t be be better. Vappu is only a week away. Just enough time to brew up my first batch of the year. It brings back a flood of memories of my time in Finland.

Sima is a Finnish homemade mead, and is the traditional drink for their Vappu holiday, which falls on May 1st. The holiday itself is quite a mix match of different traditions. Originally there was a pagan celebration at this time, involving the lighting of bonfires and the welcoming of spring. With the coming of Christianity the same holiday was used instead to honour a Saint Walpurga, while still keeping some of the old traditions. Later on it became a day associated with political, religious, and student activism, including marches, demonstrations and speeches. Today it is a mix of all these things, and the holiday typically involves music and picnic feasts in the park by day, and bonfires, partying and drinking by night. And so with that bit of background here is my recipe.