Homemade Organic Fermented Lemonade

Homemade organic fermented lemonade is probably one of our most favorite drinks. It is filled with probiotics for healthy gut bacteria. It tastes tart and sweet at the same time. It is so thirst quenching but so delicious that you want to just keep drinking it. This recipe has few ingredients. It is not difficult to make. It just takes some muscle and patience.

organic lemons
Homegrown organic lemons, a gift from Julia Geha in Arizona

I like to do as much of the work by hand because it is good exercise for my arms. The hardest exercise is squeezing the lemons. There are a variety of squeezers you can buy. Some make it easier to get the juice out of the lemon. Others are more comfortable to use. It can depend on the size of the lemon.

Essential Tools
Essential Tools-Citrus Juice Squeezers

I have tailored the amount of the ingredients to the container size, one that holds 14 cups of liquid (slightly less than a gallon. Let’s go through the recipe starting with the ingredients:
11 cups of filtered water
2 cups of lemon juice (the organic lemons I used had so much juice I only needed 3 1/2 lemons. It usually requires many more lemons)
1 to 1 1/2 cups light organic sugar or demerara golden sugar
1 cup fresh whey* (not powdered)
About 3 TBSP fermented lemon peel syrup (to taste)

* I usually make my own whey from draining yogurt. But I wanted to have a large amount. The lovely people who own Sohha Savory Yogurt were able to spare a gallon of fresh, pure whey. The price was reasonable so I stocked up.

Continuing with the recipe, fill the glass container with the liquid ingredients. Start with the water and add the whey. Put that aside and squeeze the lemons until you have the desired amount of juice. Pulp can be left in the liquid but be sure to remove the pits. Put aside the lemon peel for making lemon syrup.

Mix the liquid ingredients with a wooden spoon and then add the sugar. Mix again. Add the lemon syrup to taste. Cover the jar and leave at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Then refrigerate and enjoy.

Homemade Organic Fermented Lemonade
Homemade Organic Fermented Lemonade

Here’s a recipe card to cut out and keep:

Homemade Organic Fermented Lemonade
Homemade Organic Fermented Lemonade

Recipe adapted from The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook. Photos by the author, Alison D. Gilbert

This blog post details information discussed by Alison D. Gilbert, Healthy Living Consultant, on A.M. News on Renegade 101.3 FM. If you wish to share it, please give credit where credit is due. Photography is by the author unless otherwise indicated by scanning your mouse over the image. Thank you.

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Fermenting Essentials: Ingredients and Utensils


Since I have officially become a fermenter, my shopping list has changed to include what I call my ‘fermenting essentials’. That’s not to say that my list was ever a ‘white bread and 2% cow’s milk’, Standard American Diet list. But now my fermenting essentials are regulars on my shopping list. Anyone who is unfamiliar with fermented food and beverages might find my essential ingredients list unusual.

For both beginners and seasoned fermenters who want to get another perspective on what I consider fermenting essentials, here is my ‘fermenting’ list that always seems to have the following:
• organic ginger root
• lemons
• whole milk, organic yogurt
• some kind of organic sweetener if I have run low (either granulated, liquid or solid)

I use the ginger for making the most outrageously delicious homemade ginger ale. The process requires a ‘ginger bug’. A concoction made from grated ginger, sugar and water. It is supposed to be fed daily (I forget all the time). It ferments and is a ginger ale ‘essential’ starter. A ‘ginger wort’ is also necessary in the ginger ale making process. That requires more ginger. So I like to keep an ample supply on hand.

Fresh squeezed lemon juice is also indispensable for so many of the fermented recipes I make. Ginger ale requires it, lacto-fermented cranberry relish needs it and so does lacto-fermented lemonade.

The whole milk, organic yogurt is used to make whey for the lacto-fermented recipes. I usually keep a sizable amount of sugar varieties. But if I run low on one of them, it goes on the list too. So there you have it, my main fermenting essential ingredients.

‘But wait a minute’, you may be thinking.’I just read a lot of ingredients that might also require special utensils’. You are absolutely right. So my list of essential utensils follows.


I would like to mention the utensils that have become indispensable, too:
• a metal ginger grater
• two kinds of lemon juice ‘squeezers’
• round metal strainers of various sizes
• cheesecloth or a gallon size paint strainer
• plastic measuring spoons (keep metal away from fermenting agents such as SCOBY and kefir crystals)
• an array of measuring cups (buy American like Pyrex or Anchor Hocking to make sure there is no lead in the glass)
• wooden spoons
• large rubber mixing spoons
• a liquid thermometer
• a water purefier
• a blender
• various sizes of pots and pans
• round glass containers like cookie jars with lids (buy American made to guarantee that there is no lead in the glass)
• round glass dispensers with spigots (same here)
• a sharp knife
• glass mixing bowls of various sizes
• plenty of glass storage jars of various sizes (I like ‘Fido’ jars. Fido is both a style and a brand name.)

I am not going to go into any detail about sweeteners now because that requires it own blog post. I use between 4 types of granulated sugar, two or three liquids and about three or four solids. I want to leave plenty of time and room to discuss them in a way that will be most helpful and thorough.

This list of utensils may seem overwhelming at first. Much of it you will probably already own. What you don’t have, fill in as you can. Fermenting is meant to be fun, relaxing and satisfying. So don’t get stressed out about what you don’t have. You can most likely improvise until you do. There are also many discount stores and online sources for these items. So you can enjoy this without breaking the bank. In fact, the benefits far outweigh the effort.

In future posts, I will discuss fermenting processes, recipes and other details of this wonderful ‘whey’ of life.

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