Sima, a refreshing summer drink

Serves: makes 2 quarts


  • 8 cups (2 L.) boiling water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated natural cane sugar
  • 1 organic lemon, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of active dry yeast
  • 8 raisins


  1. Add the water, sugars, and lemon slices to a non-reactive container (i.e. not metallic). Stir until the sugars dissolve, and let the water cool to lukewarm, about 115Fº (45Cº)—it should be warm, but not hurt when you sprinkle a few drops on your wrist.
  2. Stir in the yeast. Let the mixture stand in a warm spot 8 to 10 hours, or overnight, until tiny bubbles appear around the edges of the container (read the notes in my original post about this step).
  3. Strain the liquid into two 1-quart glass jars, discarding the lemon slices. Place 4 raisins in each jar. Close tightly with lids, and let stand at room temperature until the raisins have swelled, and risen to the top, anywhere from 8 hours to 2 days, depending on the temperature in your house (this is how you know the Sima has fermented enough).
  4. Chill until very cold. Sima will keep in the fridge for at least 1 month.