Refreshing Lemonade Recipe (With Probiotics)

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

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.


Become a VIP member!

Get access to my VIP newsletter with health tips, special deals, my free ebook on Seven Small Easy Habits and so much more!

Easy Habits ebook on ipad

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.


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

  1. Patti Cox Young Avatar
    Patti Cox Young

    you mentioned the use of a scoby, then just continued with getting whey from Greek yogurt. I have a scoby, I do not have Greek yogurt. how is this done with using the scoby? i have several bottles of Kombucha and would like to add this.

  2. Marcy Grote Avatar
    Marcy Grote

    5 stars
    Didn’t this recipe used to put the lemonade into flip top bottles with a little sugar for another day or two on the counter? After the initial 2 or 3 days on the counter.

  3. Kelsey Avatar

    Looking forward to trying this. I have it all mixed up on the counter but I don’t believe the auger fully dissolved and looks like it’s sitting on the bottom of my picture. Will the fermentation still work?

  4. Kelli Chodor Avatar
    Kelli Chodor

    Do you have to use a glass jar? I don’t have one big enough. Would a plastic (BPA free) container work?

  5. Sheryl Avatar

    Hi !
    While fermenting the lemonade do I use a coffee filter secured with a rubber band or do I need to use a tight lid to cap the mason jar ?

  6. Quinn Avatar

    Hi! I followed this recipe exactly and after 36 hours, there are no bubbles forming. Is there something that could have gone wrong during this process? Thanks!

  7. Christine Di Sabatino Avatar
    Christine Di Sabatino

    I made a similar recipe for lacto fermented lemonade, I wanted it fizzy and it took about 12 days. However, in one bottle there seems to be floaters. Like a mass of whey. Anyone know what this might be and is it safe.

    1. Melissa Avatar

      Mine has been sitting on the counter for 3 days with no fizz and its still sweet. I covered tightly as the recipe said but I opened the lid every day to check it. Should I leave it out longer? Not sure why this isn’t working as the recipe says.

      1. Olivier Avatar

        You might want to put a bit more of whey and sugar, but if you want it fizzy you’ll have to do a second ferment by leaving it for 3 days in a swing top bottle, then it’ll be almost like commercial soda.(and put the bottle in a bowl, with a glass above the opening to contain the liquid eruption!)

  8. Jayden Avatar

    I used the whey i strianed off of my (store bought) soy yougurt and it worked perfectly! Dairy free is definetly an option!

  9. Anne Avatar

    How “fresh” does your whey have to be? After reviewing multiple recipes and info about whey it sounds like it can last 6 months in the fridge? What is your experience?


  10. Aweeah Avatar

    5 stars
    Hi! Thanks so much for the recipe! Turned out delish! I made admit 2 litres about 2 weeks ago. Only 3/4 of the way through it but the liquid at bottom of the jar is looking a bit ‘furry’. The rest is crystal clear. Do you think it’s still ok to drink? I’m thinking it may be like the mother in my kombucha but not sure. Any ideas? Also how long should it last for?

    1. Kay Avatar

      I don’t know about the “furry” part, but if you are refrigerating the lemonade after the 2 days, you should not have “furry” in it. If you do refrigerate it, it will last quite awhile. You’d probably have drank it up by that time. Mine lasts only a day or two after I make it. Good luck.

      1. Kay Avatar

        5 stars
        oops on my part, I thought you were talking about the probiotic lemonade, but you were talking about water kefir grain drink. I’ve used kefir grains, but prefer the probiotic lemonade and Kombucha, instead.

      2. Aweeah Avatar

        Thanks for your reply. I think there was a small amount of the actual yogurt in with my whey when I strained it off and it settled to the bottom of the jar. It wasn’t too much to begin with, but I think it kind of ‘grew’ after a week or so. I ended up not drinking it after I posted, just to be safe, but think that if it was yogurt, it still should have been ok. Anyway, I’ll try again and this time make sure I strain my whey a couple of times to make sure it is free from the yogurt.

        1. Kay Avatar

          5 stars
          I don’t know what you used to strain the yogurt, but a flour sack towel or cotton dish towel works really well. Lining a sieve over a bowl, put the yogurt into the towel and tie up and hang it up. I’ve used a wooden spoon and rubber bands hooked to a cupboard handle.

          As for the 2 days of fermentation, cover the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band…Do Not Cap It. After the 2 days, and the fermentation is done, then cap it and put in the fridge.

  11. cheryl Avatar

    What measurement of the water kefir grains do you use??? Love your stuuf!

    1. Kay Avatar

      It depends on how much you are making. I believe it is 1 TBSP per quart. I haven’t made it in a while, but that is what I remember using. I made mine in juice jars that I had washed out and saved. They work well.

  12. Ashleigh Avatar

    I have a question.

    How do you test the alcohol content of drinks like this? I’d prefer not to drink anything over .5% alcohol as it is a part of my religion not to drink alcohol so I’d really like to find out.
    I’m aware that fermenting fruit juices produces a lot of alcohol, then this recipe calls for added sugar and is a closed fermentation process so those all increase the alcohol content right?
    Also the more carbonation also means a higher alcohol content right? If the bubbles stay once the lid is off that is. If they rise once the lid is removed then it is fine or so I’ve read. Anyway you describe it as ‘fizzy’ so I’m just wondering about that too?

    Anyway I’d appreciate any insight on that as I’d like healthy probiotic drinks and this is an inexpensive way to go about it as we have a lemon tree outside.

4.65 from 42 votes (13 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating