Refreshing and slightly sweet, this honey sima is a paleo version of the traditional Finnish mead. Full of fizz and fun this drink is safe for adults and kiddos alike!
A sima origin story.
If you’re like me and need a little refresher as to what sima is, let me refresh you. Yes, sima looks a little like kombucha or water kefir. It sort of is. But not quite. While kombucha and water kefir can boast boatloads of probiotics, sima is kinda just there for fun. Though there are health benefits from the honey and lemons, of course.
Basically, sima is a sweet mead made from lemons. Sorta like a strong fermented lemonade. Though it’s technically an alcoholic drink, it’s not really alcoholic enough to do anything – even if you drank a whole gallon – so it’s perfectly safe for kids. According to the ever-trustworthy wikipedia, sima is a traditional Finnish drink usually consumed with a fancy Finnish doughnut or funnel cake during the May Day festivities.
During my extensive research (ahem) into the origins of sima I came across various ways it can be made. Most of the recipes I read called for a brown sugar/white sugar combo. I don’t keep brown sugar on hand and I love swapping honey when white sugar is called for, so I opted for honey. Wikipedia [again] ok’d honey, so don’t think this is becoming some whacky creation of mine.
I halved the amount of sweetener called for in most of the recipes, so if you’re looking for a more traditional, sweeter version, double the honey or use brown and white sugar.
Anyway, if you want to have some idea of what it tastes like before you spend your time making it, my dear husband described it as 20% lemonade, 70% kvass, and 10% beer. Now, I don’t know about the beer part, but I would definitely say it reminded me of kvass only lemony and not so thick.
Fun Paleo drinks.
Not sure what you think about this honey sima, but you’re still wanting a fun cool drink for the summer? Try these…
- Mixed Berry Switchel
- Homemade Mango Soda
- Cranberry Apple Switchel
- Iced Coconut Matcha Latte
- Spiced Apple Kombucha
- Fizzy Ginger Lemonade
- Elderberry Water Kefir
- Iced Raspberry Leaf Chia Tea
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Free from grain, gluten, eggs, dairy, and refined sugar.
- 2 quarts filtered water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 lemons
- 1/16 teaspoon active dry yeast (basically a couple pinches)
- about 20 organic raisins
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
While water boils, thinly slice the lemons.
Remove from heat and add the lemons.
Let mixture sit until lukewarm, then add in the honey and yeast and stir.
Pour into 2 quart-sized glass jars (I use these), dividing the lemons between the two jars. Add raisins (10 to each jar) and cover with cheesecloth or an old t-shirt.
Let the sima sit for 8-12 hours. By then, tiny bubbles should have formed around the perimeter of the jars and the raisins should be floating. (If your house is cold this might take a little longer than 12 hours.)
Strain into flip-top bottles (like these) or into two quart-sized glass jars. Cap tightly and let stand at room temperature for 3 days.
Transfer bottles to the fridge. (You can let out some of the pressure if you don’t like super carbonated drinks.)
Makes 2 quarts. Recipe can be doubled to make more.