Bright and fruity with a caramelized depth of flavor thanks to brown sugar and a four-day ferment, this homemade lemon soda is enjoyed during the May Day celebration in Finland. Pair it with tippaleipa (Finnish funnel cakes) for an authentic treat.
Sima (Finnish Lemon Soda)
Bright and fruity with a caramelized depth of flavor thanks to brown sugar and a four-day ferment, this homemade lemon soda is enjoyed during the May Day celebration in Finland.
Yield: makes 1 Liter
1⁄8 tsp. fresh yeast
3 cups filtered water
1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. granulated sugar
5 golden raisins
Mix yeast and ¼ cup filtered water heated to 115°; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Place brown sugar in another bowl. Bring 1 ¼ cups water to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan; pour over sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining water, lemon juice, and granulated sugar; let cool. Stir in yeast mixture and drape a clean dish towel over bowl; let sit at room temperature (ideally 70-75°) for 24 hours.
Using a funnel, pour soda into a sterilized 1-liter plastic soda bottle, filling to within 1" of the top or lower. Add raisins and close bottle tightly with top. Let sit at room temperature (ideally 70°-75°) for 24 hours (the bottle should become rock-hard with the pressure that builds up within). Refrigerate soda for 2 days before opening and serving. Drink soda within 1 week of opening, and store in the refrigerator.