Naturally Fermented Lemonade Recipe

Naturally Fermented Lemonade Recipe, with probiotics.

Homemade lemonade is simple to make. And this naturally fermented lemonade recipe is just as easy! By simply adding one extra ingredient, you can have your own, fermented drink with natural bacteria which is great for your gut.

Fermented Lemonade Recipe

This lemonade is sharp with a slightly fizzy, fermented taste. If you can persuade your children to drink it, it's a wonderful way to introduce friendly bacteria into their diet. It is also welcome relief from the super-sweet fizzy drinks they may be used to.

This lemonade is lovely and refreshing on a hot day with ice and slices of lemon.


A large flip top preserving jar which you can 'burp' each day to release the pressure as the lemonade ferments. Or if you're a homebrewer like me, a half-size demijohn with an airlock in it works really well with this recipe (more here on how to source glass demijohns).

After 3 days you'll also need clean bottles in which to strain your lemonade. Pretty flip top bottles look the nicest. Re-used plastic bottles with caps work just as well.

And you'll need some whey. If you don't have any whey laying around in your fridge (and frankly, who does?), you'll need some plain yogurt together with a sieve and some muslin or cheesecloth. And a funnel makes life much easier to pour things into the jar/demijohn, if you have one. None of this equipment needs to be sterilised.


  • 6 freshly juiced lemons. Don't use bottled lemon juice because it has been treated with stabilisers and preservatives to prevent it fermenting :)
  • 1/3rd of a cup of golden granulated sugar. You can use brown sugar which will ferment more, because of the molasses in the sugar. That makes the lemonade a more golden colour.
  • 6 cups of filtered or bottled water (not boiled as that kills any natural fermenters in the water which could help your lemonade along)
  • 1/2 cup of whey. (To make whey: strain a small tub of plain natural yogurt through cheesecloth or muslin for a few hours. The liquid which drips out is the whey, and you're left with Greek yogurt in the muslin. Kefir whey also works really well).


Pour the water into the preserving jar or demijohn, add the sugar. Stir or shake until the sugar looks dissolved.

Add the lemon juice, along with any lemon pulp if it came out in the juicing, and the whey.

If you're using a jar, pop the top on. If you're using a demijohn, pop in the bung and airlock.

And that's it. Leave the vessel on your countertop for about 3 days. If the weather is really hot, it may take less than 3 days. If it's really cold, it may take more.

If you're using a jar, be sure to release the top at least once a day to 'burp' the lemonade so that the pressure doesn't build up too much. If you're using a vessel with an airlock, it burps itself.

And if your kitchen is warm, it may look a little like this! Complete with birdsong, hopefully!

When the lemonade is ready, strain it into the bottles and put in the fridge. The longer it stays in the fridge, the fizzier it will become. Again, be sure to release the pressure in the bottles now and again so it doesn't build up too much.

Serve with ice and lemon. Gorgeous!

For more information about gut health, see this BBC article "What Should I Eat for a Healthy Gut?"

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  • Hi Melanie, that’s a very good point, I can see I didn’t mention how much this recipe makes which is odd, I shall make it again and put proper measurements. In the meatime I use a half demijohn for this recipe which is 2.2 litres approx, and it is never quite full. So I’d say you’d be fine with a 2 litre jar. Good luck!

  • Can not wait to try this recipe – What is the best size Mason flip top jar to use?

  • Hi Ashleigh, yes I would think so, it’s just the same thing dehydrated. I would follow the packet though, so if it’s designed to be mixed in water first I would do that before you add it (in case it clumps), or put it directly in to the ferment if the packet says you can.

  • Can I use powdered whey?

  • Me too Katrina, just the loveliest drink isn’t it? I love adding clementine or mandarin juice to it too, simply gorgeous.


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