It’s mead time of the year since May Day is just around the corner. Preparations are thus underway. First of May, ‘vappu’ as we call it in Finnish, is a big celebration in Finland. Originally a workers’ day, it is now celebrated by everyone but is especially important to students. And to kids, who love all the stuff that goes with it such as balloons, funny hats, masks and prank goodies. All in all it’s a very happy day. It is often celebrated by gathering in public parks for picnics or with a fancy lunch.
We are celebrating vappu by having some friends over for a bbq. And in addition to sparkling wine, mead (‘sima’) is a must. Finnish mead is not made of honey and water and it does not really contain alcohol but the home-brewed version is made of white sugar, brown sugar, lemon, yeast and water. We bottle it with some raisins and when they float, the drink is ready. You can get sima at grocery stores as well but it’s just not the same.
The smell, taste and process of making it takes me back to childhood. I’m so excited, can’t wait to taste my product. If only those raisins would float.