Refreshing Lemonade Recipe (With Probiotics)

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Probiotic lemonade recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Drink Recipes » Refreshing Lemonade Recipe (With Probiotics)

Lemonade is the classic drink for a hot summer day, but the usual recipes are super sweetened and involve a lot of sugar! I love the flavor and effervescence of other fermented drinks, so why not probiotic lemonade? I looked it up to find it was a thing and decided to give it a try.

The result was wonderful, and thanks to the benefits of fermentation this lemonade contains little sugar and lots of healthy bacteria that is good for gut health.

Real Lemonade… With Probiotics!

I’m a big fan of water kefir and kombucha for their probiotics and beneficial enzymes. They do require specific cultures though, so if you don’t happen to have a SCOBY sitting around your kitchen, you are pretty much out of luck.

Luckily, there is an easy lacto-fermented drink that you can make with basic ingredients from your grocery store, and your kids will probably even drink it!

This probiotic lemonade is very easy to make and is ready in just a couple of days. As I mentioned, you don’t need any special ingredients like kefir grains or kombucha starter to make it (just the liquid from some strained yogurt).

As for the flavor, we all loved it (even the kids) and now keep a batch going through most of the summer months.

Probiotic Lemonade Recipe

What Makes Probiotic Lemonade?

Full disclosure: this recipe does call for whey, which is basically the liquid drained off of yogurt. It’s packed with probiotics and easy to make if you start the night before. The recipe is here.

I get lots of requests for a dairy-free option for this recipe (or a way to make it if you just don’t have whey around). I haven’t tried to make a dairy-free version myself yet (will update when I do), but there are dairy-free yogurts or yogurt starters that may work. I’ve also heard of using kombucha or a ginger bug as a starter. Let me know if you try it!

Probiotic lemonade recipe

Probiotic Lemonade Recipe

A fizzy and tangy fermented lemonade that has a boost of probiotics.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 2 days 5 minutes
Calories 13kcal
Author Katie Wells


12 cups



  • In a gallon size glass jar, stir together sugar and just enough hot water to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the lemon juice and fill the jar about ¾ full with filtered water.
  • Make sure the liquid is at room temperature and then add the whey.
  • Cover tightly and let sit on the counter for 2-3 days. 
  • After 2-3 days, keep the lemonade in the refrigerator and drink 4-6 ounces per day. The flavor will continue to develop.
  • Since the sugar ferments out, it is rather tart. Add a couple drops of stevia if it is too tart for you!


Nutrition Facts
Probiotic Lemonade Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 13 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0.1g1%
Sodium 10mg0%
Carbohydrates 2.8g1%
Sugar 2.8g3%
Protein 0.2g0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


You can add about 1 teaspoon of molasses to the sugar before dissolving to add extra minerals and a bit more sweetness. 
Blending the final product with ice cubes will make a delicious slushie (or margarita if you’re using limes!).

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Feeling adventurous? Will you try this healthy drink? Tell me below!

This simple probiotic lemonade uses natural fermentation to reduce the sugar content and add probiotics to this delicious drink.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


206 responses to “Refreshing Lemonade Recipe (With Probiotics)”

  1. Linda Avatar

    I am brewing my first batch now with whey. Can I use a little of the brewed batch as a starter for my next batch, as you would for kombucha? Or do I need to make fresh whey?

  2. Sharon Avatar

    I have tried this recipe in the past with success, however this last time it developed green fuzzy mold on day 3. I tasted it on day 2 & it tasted fine, but still a bit sweet so I thought I’d give it one more day to ferment. Maybe it is the temperature (summer in Florida 77 deg. inside)? Do you have any recommendations?

  3. Lori Avatar

    can I use scoby instead of the whey? I really want to try this and right now I have no whey or anything to make it out of all my yogurt is flavored, and not all natural, I just can’t afford that. I want to try to get more probiotics into my grandkids and they don’t like kombucha.

  4. Catelyn Avatar

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe! My husband, almost three year old son, and I all LOVE it! We used limes to make a limeade. It almost tastes like a lime cream saver because of the whey. Delicious! Thanks Katie!

  5. Anette Avatar

    Hey, my kefir grows and I dont know what to do with them.
    Can I eat the little grains? Are there any probiotics in them?

      1. Anette Avatar

        What is HE?
        Do you know if there is any probiotics in the grains?

      2. Anette Avatar

        I dont know what HE is 🙂
        Is there probiotic in the grains?

        1. samantha Avatar

          I’d love to know too, my daughter loves to eat them when we have extra. I just assumed they were good for her. I wonder what HE is as well.

  6. Natalie Avatar

    It tastes great. How long do you think it will last in the fridge? I have a jar that is going on three weeks old…

  7. Kayti Avatar

    What kind of sugar do you use? What do you recommend? I’m really trying to stay away from all white sugar.

    1. Pamelotta Avatar

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but from my understanding, it’s the same as with Kombucha. The white sugar is just a food for the bacteria. If you make it right, and it truly ferments, the white sugar is used up. That’s why it loses its sweetness. After that, you add the sweetener of your choice to actually sweeten it to taste.

  8. Rachel Avatar

    I hope I am not duplicating a question, I did skim! Can you use bottled concentrated organic lemon juice instead of fresh lemons? I’d like to make it but am definitely on a budget! We have a milk cow so I can certainly get fresh whey! 🙂

  9. Jennifer Avatar

    I just had my first glass of the lemonade and it tastes great! After 2 1/2 days at about 77 degrees it is still sweet. I did add the molasses however. I was wondering if there was a way to know if it actually fermented. I am unfamiliar with what it should look or taste like as this is my first attempt at fermenting.

    1. Jamie Avatar

      5 stars
      Same question here – it tastes really good but I’m not sure how to know if it’s fermented. It’s still slightly sweet and not bubbly or anything. Should it be? It certainly tastes good at least! (I used limes.)

  10. Anna Avatar

    I am excited to try this recipe, just have one question… Cover tightly, does that mean airtight or just with a cloth like water kefir?

  11. Lana Avatar

    Where does the Scoby come in? I didn’t see it in the recipe.

  12. Midge Avatar

    It takes sugar to create this probiotics and beneficial enzymes for drinks. Is there any way to create this without the carbs that sugar adds? I heard someone say, the carb count is gone after it has done it’s thing. Is that true. I know nothing about cultures, soby, creating your own probiotics, fermenting …. I know nothing. But, I really am interested and would like to do it. I I am on a low carb lifestyle and am not sure how this fits in. thanks for your help. 🙂

  13. Ashley Avatar

    Hi! I made this recipe and about a few hours after I noticed a thick layer (about 2 inches) of milky residue at the bottom. Did I make it incorrectly or is this how it is suppose to look?

  14. Phyllis Avatar

    I don’t have a juicer, can you use Lemon/Lime juice concentrate from the grocery store? I noticed it has added ingredients , sulfates, lemon/lime oil so fermentation may not take place.

  15. Svetlana Avatar

    5 stars
    Hi Katie thanks for an amazing recipe!! My kids and I loved it. I am new to fermenting. This is the first fermented beverage I made. I come from a Russian background and my family always made a fermented beverage called Kvass. It was mostly for adults. Or so I thought. Is this safe for kids? Also you recommend 4-6 ounces twice a day. Would it be of any harm to drink more? Is there a limit on how many fermented beverages or foods you can consume? Thank you for your time.

  16. ella Avatar

    Wait you list whey as an ingredient yet in the directions I dont see any whey. Also got would you do it with Kombucha and water kefir drinks without whey? Thank you!

  17. Laura Avatar

    Could I do this with my homemade milk kefir? I see that sometimes it separates if I leave it too long. I usually just stir it back together, but it would be great if I could just strain it and get cream cheese and whey from it!

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