8 L water
0.5 kg sugar
0.5 kg unrefined sugar (fariinisokeri)
juice and rind of 2 lemons
about 1 dL of hops
about 2 teaspoonfuls of fresh yeast
Bring half of the water to the boil. Add the sugar, lemon rinds, and hops, and stir well so that all of the sugar dissolves. Let infuse covered for about 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and the rest of the water. When the liquid has cooled down enough, add the yeast. Stir well and let the brew ferment covered - not airtightly - for one day, perhaps two, at normal room temperature.
After fermentation, sieve the brew. Put about 1 teaspoon of sugar per litre and a few raisins in each bottle, and pour the mead in. Place the bottles in a cool place. In about a week, or when the raisins have risen to the surface, the mead is ready to drink.
The roots of Finland's Vappu lie in workers' protests around the world. But it's not just May Day. A hectic festival of real debauchery and freedom, it starts the night before, when students - in the bright-coloured overalls of their various associations - place a huge student cap on the head of a statue in central Helsinki, before donning their own hats. And after that, the party atmosphere is found in all houses or streets.
Beer queues are long. Jugs full of a homemade yellow drink are readied ahead of time. Men and women imbibe bottles of other fluids as well, of greater strength - not water or tea!
Those rare few who gulped down about 11,585 of them and aren't old, asleep, unaware, or feared dead will be at the morning picnic in Kaivopuisto park.
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