Probiotic Lemonade

While some people have been on a Kombucha craze, I’ve been on a Probiotic Lemonade craze. Ok, I’ll admit it, it’s not because I necessarily like Probiotic Lemonade more, but because I haven’t been able to get my hands on a SCOBY (for all you Komucha makers our there *hint*hint*.) That being said, this lightly fermented lemonade is delicious, healthy and refreshing!

Because it’s lacto-fermented you’ll need to make basic whey first, which is super easy–don’t let this discourage you, the benefits of fermenting this beverage far outweigh the hassle of making whey. The fermentation process causes this lemonade to be rich in gut-healthy probiotics, and low in sugar, unlike traditional store-bought lemonade. Also created during the fermentation process is carbon dioxide, which causes this lemonade to be slightly carbonated.

I usually let my lemonade ferment for 3 days. During this time the beneficial organisms feed on the sugar, and break it down into lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The longer you let this lemonade sit, the less sweet it will be. I accidentally let my lemonade sit for a week and it started to taste a bit boozey, but depending on your taste, may be your preference. If the lemonade is too tart for your taste after fermenting, add a couple drops of stevia when serving. My kid loves this stuff! And just a hint for the adults…this probiotic lemonade goes great with a bit of soda and vodka 😉

You need to use a slightly refined sugar for the best results. I usually don’t cook or bake with white sugar, but have a bag around just for this. I’ve tried using honey, my mom’s tried syrup, and it doesn’t turn out at all–no fermentation, no carbonation. But not to worry, like I mentioned before, most of the sugar is transformed and broken down during the fermentation process anyways.

Lastly, it’s best to use mineral, spring water because the natural minerals in the water aid in the fermentation process. Don’t use boiled water because it purifies it too much. I am lucky enough to be able to use the tap water, and have had great results.


  • 5-6 Lemons, juiced (can also use oranges or limes, or a combo of all three)
  • 1/3 Cup Lightly refined sugar
  • 6 Cups of Water (not boiled water)
  • 1/2 Cup of Basic Whey
  1. Dissolve sugar in water in a large, glass container with an air-tight lid.
  2. Allow the mixture to become room temperate before stiring in the lemon juice and whey.
  3. Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  4. I then trasfer the lemonade into 2 Grolsh-sytle bottles for easy storage and servings, but this is optional.
  5. Refrigerate. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower pace.
  6. Serve with ice, sweetener, vodka, soda, or whatever your preference may be!
Fermenting on the Window Sill



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22 comments on “Probiotic Lemonade

  1. Hi Carly,

    thank you so much for this fantastic website with all the great information! I really appreciate it and I already see myself using lots of them. 🙂 If you’re ever around in Vancouver our live along my way into my holidays – I’d be happy to supply you with a SCOBY! 😉


    1. Hi Clarissa, what an incredibly generous offer! Lucky for me, my prayers we answered and I found a SCOBY!! I’m happy that you found my site, thank you for the positive feed back 🙂


    1. Good for you! Have you tried making Probiotic lemon-blackberry soda? Just add a 1/2 cup of mashed blackberries to your lemonade, stir daily, and after a few days, strain them out 🙂

  2. I’ve made a couple batches of this, but the latest batch doesn’t seem to have bubbled at all. Do you think it’d still be ok to drink? I’d hate to waste it!
    When you leave it to sit, does it need to be in a sealed container or just covered?
    I love your website, so many great ideas!!

    1. Hi Amanda! No, don’t waste it, it will just taste like regular lemonade. It should be in a sealed container. Do some trouble shooting to find out why it didn’t work. Did you use the filtered water? Was it cooled to room temp. when you added the whey? Did it sit at room temperature while it fermented?

    2. Sometimes it takes a little longer for the fermentation to start I’ve noticed. My lemonades always take at least 7 days before you notice bubbles and a change in taste. Don’t be discouraged! And I’m not sure if a sealed container is a good idea – surely you’d need a way to release the carbon dioxide so the pressure won’t build up? Or is it not too much to worry about?

      1. The C02 doesn’t build up to the point where I’m worried about my jars bursting, since it’s such a short period of time, but it doesn’t hurt to open the lid once a day, or every two days, to release any build up gases.

  3. Does it matter if a very small amount of yogurt drips into the whey when separating them during the whey making process? I squeezed the cheesecloth a little when I was putting the rubberband on it and I’d say a tsp or less went into the whey.

  4. Since I don’t like the taste of tea (even fermented one), I did this, too and it’s great! I use only 2 lemons and non-refined white sugar, and as it’s colder up here, the fermentation takes at least 7 days before anything happens at all. But despite lower lemon content and not as refined sugar, it always turns out well. So if anyone out there wants to try it, too, don’t get discouraged if it takes a little longer 😉

  5. Hi There this is such a wonderful recipe and I can’t wait to try it! Do you have any recommendations for how to do it without using whey?

  6. I actually made fermented lemonade a few weeks ago using raw unpasteurized honey, and it was perfect!! It was just mildly sweet, and after 4 days, had a perfect amount of fizziness! Not sure why it didn’t work for you, maybe whether or not the honey is pasteurized makes a difference…?

    1. Generally, honey does work as the best option because raw, unpasteurized honey is antibacterial and can kill the beneficial microorganisms. Clearly, it’s not always the case! Glad it worked out for you! 🙂

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