Forget the powdered lemonade! This fizzy fermented honey lemonade is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day. Not only will it quench your thirst, the probiotics will help to promote a healthy digestive system and improve energy. Pour into a pitcher and serve at a cookout, picnic or just one afternoon when you need a pick-me-up.
We are just on the cusp of summer. It is the time of year when the chill of spring and the last of the frost has come and gone but the hot, sticky days of summer are quickly approaching. Here in Ohio we tend to go from 60s to upper 80s without much in between. It feels like it was just yesterday when I was wearing a light jacket dreaming of sunny days and garden beds full of flowers. And today … here we are, the skies are full sunshine and I am beginning to break quite the sweat as I plant our vegetables and flowers into the garden.
Lemonade is an iconic summer time beverage. Adults love it and kids can never have too many glasses. This tart drink comes in a variety of flavors, regular lemonade, strawberry, blueberry and sometimes mixed with black tea to make an Arnold Palmer. The problem is that most homemade lemonade recipes contain several cups of sugar.
On our homestead we prefer to use low glycemic or natural sweeteners. In my effort to create a refreshing summer time beverage with a subtle sweet flavor, I decided to make a honey sweetened lemonade. I mixed raw honey with water and fresh lemon juice. To amp up the nutrition and flavor, I decided to turn this summer drink into a fermented honey lemonade. A simple addition of whey transformed the beverage into a delicious, fizzy and probiotic packed drink.
Now every time my husband comes home hot and tired from work or spends hours in sun tending to the garden, he can come indoors to a refreshing, gut healthy lemonade.
How Do You Make a Probiotic Drink
To make a fermented drink, typically you need a starter culture in the form of whey, water kefir grains or a scoby from a drink such as kombucha. When added along with juice, sugar or other flavorings, within a few days you can create a delicious probiotic drink that helps to improve the health of your digestive system. In the recipe below, you will find that the fermented lemonade uses whey to culture the beverage.
What is Fermented Lemonade?
Lacto-fermented lemonade, also known as whey lemonade or whey soda is a tangy, fizzy drink that contains probiotics and is made with only four ingredients. A simple combination of water, lemon juice, raw honey, whey and a bit of time can create a nutritious and hydrating summer drink.
Fermented Lemonade Benefits
- Excellent beginner-friendly fermented beverage recipe
- Contains only 4 ingredients
- Much healthier than traditional homemade lemonade
- Fermented lemonade is a great way to hydrate the body after intense physical labor
- Whey lemonade helps to create a healthy microbiome
- This probiotic drink is full of valuable minerals, enzymes, healthy acids and yeasts
- Made with raw honey that contains prebiotics, antioxidants and other beneficial vitamins and minerals
How Long Does it Take for Lemonade to Ferment?
This probiotic lemonade recipe can take anywhere from 2 to 6 days to ferment, depending on the temperature of the room. Remember the warmer the room the faster the lemonade will ferment.
How Much Juice is in One Lemon?
A regular size lemon contains approximately 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Occasionally you may find a large lemon can have as much as 3 tablespoons.
What Water is Best for Fermentation?
When making a fermented beverage it is best to use non chlorinated water since chlorine can destroy the bacteria in the whey. I use filtered water from my Berkey water filter system but spring water would also be a great choice. Do not use distilled water.
Tools You May Need
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- High-quality, thick glass bottle meant for brewing such as a Grolsch bottle or a recycled kombucha bottle such as the Synergy brand
- Coffee filter or cheesecloth
- Fine mesh strainer
- Airtight half gallon glass container, such as clear glass jug or mason jar
- Citrus juicer
How to Strain Whey
Whey is liquid that comes from straining kefir or homemade yogurt. It is translucent and has a slight yellow color. To collect whey to make this homemade lemonade, place cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a mesh strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl, add the kefir or yogurt and allow the whey to drip out for about 12 hours. The remaining liquid is ready to jump start your whey lemonade.
How to Make Honey Lemonade
A light and refreshing probiotic beverage with a fresh lemon taste, this fermented lemonade is about to become your new summer favorite. Lightly sweetened, carbonated and caffeine-free.
Makes: 1 half gallon
6 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup whey
1/2 cup lemon juice
In a saucepan gently heat 3 cups of water and honey until combined. Set aside and cool to room temperature before adding the whey and juice.
In a half gallon glass jug or airtight glass jar, add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of water, whey, lemon juice and cooled honey mixture. Seal the jar with a tight lid and allow to ferment for 2 to 6 days, depending on the temperature of the room.
When the lemonade has finished fermenting, it should be bubbly. Place the liquid directly into the fridge to chill or transfer the lemonade to airtight bottles such as a Grolsch flip-top bottle. Serve chilled or over ice. Consume within one to two weeks.
Note: If you do not have any fresh lemons on hand you can substitute bottled 100% lemon juice.
More Drink Recipes
- 6 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/2 cup whey
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- In a saucepan gently heat 3 cups of water and honey until combined. Set aside and cool to room temperature before adding the whey and juice.
- In a half gallon glass jug or airtight glass jar, add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of water, whey, lemon juice and cooled honey mixture. Seal the jar with a tight lid and allow to ferment for 2 to 6 days, depending on the temperature of the room.
- When the lemonade has finished fermenting, it should be bubbly. Place the liquid directly into the fridge to chill or transfer the lemonade to airtight bottles such as a Grolsch flip-top bottle. Serve chilled or over ice. Consume within one to two weeks.
If you do not have any fresh lemons on hand you can substitute bottled 100% lemon juice.