Sima Recipe – Easy Finnish Homemade Soda

When I was a child, I used to love it when my mom made traditional Finnish recipes for the family.

And one of my favourites in the summertime was this Sima recipe, an easy Finnish homemade soda made with lemons, sugar and hops.


So, when I stumbled on my Sima recipe in my beloved handwritten cookbook of family recipes, I decided it was time to introduce my boys to the homemade soda that I’d loved when I was their age.

Sima is quite easy to make. Simply boil the ingredients, let them cool to room temperature and then add a pinch of yeast.

About a day later, the soda is ready to be put into bottles.


Like all homemade soda pop, Sima is very, very slightly alcoholic. The yeast converts sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide, which is what gives the drink its carbonation.

But don’t worry, the alcohol content is incredibly miniscule (less than 1%).

Any variety of dried hops will work for making Sima, but make sure to use whole dried hops and not the compressed hops tablets that are often used in beermaking.

To bottle the Sima, I use 500ml plastic bottles with screw tops that I’d previously used when making beer.

I generally fill between 20-22 bottles, depending how much liquid the lemons absorb and how much sediment gathers at the bottom of the pot.

To know when Sima is ready to move into the fridge, a few raisins are dropped into each bottle. When they float to the top, the lemony homemade soda is properly carbonated and ready to drink.

And the raisins are a tasty treat after, since they’re so juicy!


To my delight, both my boys loved their first taste of Finnish soda, and I was so happy that I decided to give them a taste of this childhood treat.

Neither liked the raisins as much as my siblings and I had as children, though!

If you want to try a unique and refreshing summertime beverage, give Sima a try and see what you think!


Sima - Finnish Homemade Soda Pop

Yield: 22 500ml bottles (44 servings)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Sitting Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 15 minutes

An easy homemade soda pop recipe that's a traditional Finnish summer beverage.


  • 45 cups water
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup hops
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 pinch baking yeast, about 25 grains
  • raisins


  1. Boil water. Skin peel off lemons, slice off pith (white part). Slice lemons thinly, discarding seeds.
  2. Add sugar, lemon peel, lemon slices and hops to boiling water. Boil for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Cool mixture to room temperature and add yeast. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for about 24 hours (until lemon slices and hops have risen to the top of the mixture).
  4. Pour through strainer or cheesecloth. Put into bottles, adding two or three raisins to each bottle.
  5. Store in cool room until raisins rise to the top of the bottles (3-4 days). Move to fridge and enjoy!


Original recipe calls for seven cups of sugar, but I prefer using a little less. Use a blend of white, yellow and brown sugars to suit your taste.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 44 Serving Size: 250ml (8oz)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 103Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 0g

Sima is a delicious and easy homemade soda from Finland that's perfect for summer sipping! Made with lemons, hops and sugar, the drink has a refreshingly unique flavour. Give it a try and sima may just become your new favourite summer beverage!

33 thoughts on “Sima Recipe – Easy Finnish Homemade Soda”

    1. Hi Chani! Sorry for my delayed response! I use my big canning pot to boil the water; I believe it holds about 5 gallons. If the biggest pot you have is a dutch-oven style pot, you can just boil a smaller amount of water along with all the other ingredients, pour it into a bigger plastic bucket (the big ice cream pails from restaurants work great!) and top it up with room temperature water to the correct amount. Hope this helps!

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