Fermented Lemonade Punch from Nourishing Traditions

May 18, 2008 · 42 comments

Thanks to my friend, Julie, for suggesting I try making the fermented Lemonade Punch recipe from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It takes a little time juicing the lemons, but it’s a very easy recipe, and my family loved it. We rarely have anything besides milk, water, or Kombucha, so it was a big treat! (I want to try the recipe for the raspberry punch next…)

Fermented foods and drinks are very beneficial to our bodies because of the healthy bacteria and enzymes they produce for a healthy digestive tract and the way they boost our immune systems. Read more from the Weston A. Price Foundation about the benefits of fermentation.


photo by Darwin Bell

  • Juice of 4 lemons (organic is best)
  • 1/4 c. Rapadura (the least refined type of sugar – your grocery or health food store has it)
  • 1/4 c. whey (be sure to use homemade whey, not concentrated or powdered whey)
  • 1/4 t. grated nutmeg (after our 2nd batch, we decided we like it better without this)
  • 1 quart filtered water
  • Optional: another 1/4 c. sugar after it’s done fermenting (it was too tart for us and this extra sugar was just what it needed)

Sally’s recipe in the cookbook was for double this amount and she said to place all ingredients into a 2-quart glass container, but my 2-quart glass jars were filled to 3/4 with only half of her recipe (the amounts above). Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days. Skim off any foam that may have risen to the top. Cover tightly and refrigerate. The punch will develop more flavor over time. (Note, don’t expect a nice light yellow pretty color for this punch – it’s darker in color due to the Rapadura in the recipe!)

(Many more topics along the right in the sidebar!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  • Share this article

  • Stay Connected!

  • Get new articles and recipes, plus help getting and keeping your family on real food! Also coupons/discounts, and STAY signed up to be automatically entered in gift card giveaways!

  • { 39 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Julie May 21, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Thanks for this recipe, Kelly. I prepared it yesterday and am eagerly waiting to see how it turns out! I’ll let you know…


    2 Bamboo May 30, 2008 at 8:12 am


    Great recipe! I halved your recipe because I only have 1 QT jars.

    The first time I made it there were a few white growths floating on top that looked like mold. I skimmed them off and drank it. It was refreshing and delicious. I wondered if it was because I used the plastic lid instead of the ring and it wasn’t a tight seal. Well, this morning (on my second batch, second day) I found a bunch of white moldy-looking round floaties and I used a ring lid this time. Does that happen to you also when you make this? I’m still getting use to the whole lacto-fermenting thing.



    3 Matthew December 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    The white floaties are most likely yeast, which occurs naturally and is responsible for the fermentation.


    4 Kelly the Kitchen Kop May 30, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Hi Beth,

    When I make it there are definitely floaties and foam, but I skim off what I can and shake the rest up and just tell myself it’s pulp as I drink it. It has no off flavor, so I don’t think it’s mold.

    I use the plastic lids, too, but I’ve never had moldy looking round floaties…

    I’m not sure what’s happening with yours?!

    I know someone who may know (Lynn Cameron), I’ll e-mail her and ask her to post here.



    5 Lynn May 30, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Kelly and Beth,

    Those floaters might be teeny, tiny bits of protein from the whey starter culture. Maybe straining the whey through several layers of cheesecloth would help.

    It could also be mold; not all has odor or taste to humans. You could try a tsp. of raw cider vinegar to the finished product – it wouldn’t affect the taste but the acidity would make the mold unhappy. Also, a drop or two of a food-grade essential oil would completely get rid of the mold – lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, cinnamon.

    I make a fermented non-dairy drink with washed kefir grains when I have extra. They can be trained to like glucose (rapadura) almost as much as lactose (milk) but they exhaust sooner and don’t proliferate. I’ve not observed mold on it, but there’s sediment on the bottom that goes into my garden, not my mouth.

    See Jessica Prentice’s FULL MOON FEAST for a lovely cooking book full of her interpretation of Sally Fallon’s and Dr. Price’s work. There’s recipes in there for fermented drinks.

    Keep up the good work, you fabulous young mothers!!


    6 Kelly the Kitchen Kop May 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    I’m so thankful to have someone like you to turn to for help with these things – thank you for being a great mentor!


    7 Julie May 31, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Kelly, my lemonade turned out great. It seems to get “bubblier” every day. I love the subtle carbonation. It reminds me of a drink that Pa might have had after a long day of field work in “The Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder! Very refreshing and restorative.


    8 Bamboo June 7, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Kelly and Lynn,

    Thanks so much for your input. I’m trying it again. I strained the whey as I poured it from the jar to measure it this time. One thing I noticed that I did wrong the other 2 times was that I filled the jar instead of *just* putting in the amount of water you said. So I probably put 1 cup extra water. This time I measured right. I’ll add water when it’s done to stretch it out. Since I only have quart jars I’m halving your recipe and just doing it in qt. jar.

    If I understand correctly, you wouldn’t add the apple cider vinegar until *after* it’s done fermenting, right? And then only if there was mold that I wanted to get rid of before drinking (after I skim out any I see)? Same with essential oils? After it’s done, or would you ferment it WITH the cider vinegar or essential oil?

    Rasberry punch…mmm. Let us know how it turns out! I finally got my NT from the library that had been checked out for at least a month on hold. I’ll go look it up right now.



    9 Theresa January 4, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Kelly,

    My punch was finished today and it tastes great! There wasn’t any foam or bubbling so I’m wondering if it is “done”. (I know that when I soak my oatmeal it usually has bubbles coming up in the liquid before I cook it.) I’m wondering if my punch might need to sit out longer. Any thoughts?
    Thanks for your wonderful blog!


    10 Kelly January 4, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Theresa,

    I think that if you taste a bit of a fermented twang then it’s probably fine, but if you want to leave it longer, it won’t hurt it. Good luck!

    Beth, I see your questions were not answered from back in June – sorry! I was hoping Lynn would answer, because I don’t know what to tell you with that. Maybe she’ll see this one and be reminded and pop back in to answer.



    11 Amy May 1, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Can’t wait to try! Even though I have Sally F’s cookbook, thanks for bringing to light a recipe I know everyone around here would love.



    12 Laura May 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Kelly, will the sugar be converted into enzymes probiotics, etc. like Kombucha with this Lemonade?


    13 Kelly May 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Laura, yes, it will for the sugar added before it ferments, I don’t think so for the sugar added after.


    14 Laura May 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Many thanks for your quick reponse. I’m so excited…the Lemonade is sitting on my counter fermenting! I am enjoying all you have here for us to read. I’m your new fan!!


    15 Kelly May 3, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks so much for reading, Laura! :)


    16 Alchemille June 18, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Can you replace sugar with another sweetener such as honey or maple syrup?
    Thanks ;).



    17 Kelly June 19, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Alchemille, sorry I don’t know. You could give it a shot! Let us know how it works. :)


    18 Jeanmarie August 8, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Honey doesn’t work so well for fermentation because it is naturally anti-bacterial. It may work eventually but it will be much slower than other sweeteners. Judging from the honey wine I tried recently (mead) it will taste a lot better just eating it from the spoon than using it for fermentation. I don’t know any reason why maple syrup wouldn’t work, but the flavor may be too strong, and even weird. The bland, plain sugars are ideal for fermentation because they don’t add their own flavor, you can easily flavor with fruits, spices, etc.


    19 keithkuhn August 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Can one use plastic water bottles that are BPA free(bought at Whole Foods) for making Lacto drinks?


    20 KitchenKop August 20, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Keith, I still wouldn’t because BPA is just the most *popular* toxin in plastics, I’m sure there are other chemicals to be concerned about, too. With glass I just know I don’t have to worry. :)



    21 Cori January 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Any ideas for people who can’t have dairy? My breastfeeding son is very sensitive to cow dairy and somewhat to goat as well. No whey for me for the next year or so – any help out there?


    22 KitchenKop January 13, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Cori, give me some more info and I’ll try to help. Are you looking specifically for a non-dairy fermented drink?


    23 Heather H. July 8, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Just browsing and noticed Cori’s comment. For milk allergies in our house I buy non-dairy probiotic capsules and open about 10 of them into whatever I’m fermenting. It works the same as whey, without any trace of dairy. This is a great company that offers many kinds of lactose/dairy free probiotic powders that you can use in smoothies/soaking etc….http://www.customprobiotics.com/

    Good luck! I’m hoping after a year on GAPS, we will get rid of out dairy allergies and get to drink some nice raw milk. yum.


    24 Kelly January 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for this! I am trying my first batch of fermented lemonde right now. One question… do I stir it like I do my ginger beer culture while it is at room temperature? Or should I leave it alone?



    25 KitchenKop January 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Yep, you can stir it! :)


    26 Gina February 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I have made this fermented lemonade punch a couple of times and love it, but it gives me horrible heartburn. I am wanting to try making it with oranges instead of lemons. Since lemons give about 2-3 TBS juice per lemon, and oranges give about 6 TBS, should I make it with the juice of just 1/2 an orange, or use the juice of 4 oranges?

    Thank you for your help! :)


    27 KitchenKop February 2, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Hmmm, I don’t know if orange juice is quite as flavorful, though, so you may want to use all 4 oranges. You can always try it one way and see how it goes and then adjust from there…


    28 Sue E. February 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Can anyone tell me how much is “the juice of four lemons”? I use the organic 100% lemon juice in a green bottle from Costco that I would use for this…
    Sue E.


    29 KitchenKop February 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I’d guess about 3 Tablespoons. :)


    30 KitchenKop April 29, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Looking at this again, I should say that it really depends on the size of the lemons. 4 large lemons would be more like 1/2 c. or so, maybe more. More would just be more flavorful.


    31 Julie D. February 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I would not used bottled lemon juice. It is almost always pasteurized and not raw juice.


    32 Martine April 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm


    I have a question for you,

    Is the sugar disappear totally during the limonade fermentation ?

    If no, can I us Stevia in stead?



    33 KitchenKop April 29, 2011 at 10:41 am

    The longer it ferments, the less sugar will be left and the more alcohol taste you’ll have. I don’t think Stevia would work, because the fermentation process needs sugar.



    34 Martine April 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks Kelly,

    I have another little question for you

    What is the difference between fermented limonade and lemon water kefir, except the taste!



    35 KitchenKop April 30, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Well, I’m not sure, but my guess is that since one ferments with whey and the other with kefir grains, they probably each have different types of beneficial bacteria for your gut.



    36 peggy June 27, 2011 at 10:50 am

    can you drink as much of the juice as you want or would it be better to drink small amounts at a time like beet kvass?


    37 KitchenKop June 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    It probably depends on the person, you could always start out with a little and see how it goes.


    38 Karen March 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I’ve been making this fermented lemonaide for a while, and we all love it! The last batch I let sit a little longer on the counter, as we went out of town. When we got back, it had a strong alcohol smell. Should I be concerned about giving this to my kiddos? How can I tell what the alcoholic content is?

    Love your website! Thanks for all the valuable info!!!


    39 KitchenKop March 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    It’s quite a process to figure out the alcohol amount, but the longer it sets the longer it ferments, and the more alcohol that’s formed. SO, you may want to start over for the kiddos, just to be safe. :)



    Please note this paid endorsement disclosure (the FTC is making me put this here): Is everything always breaking around your house, too? Well the same thing happens on a website. A lot. Sooooo... "In order to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of renumeration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog or social media posts." This includes Amazon affiliate links either here or on social media. It doesn't earn much, but it's better than nothing, and cost is the exact same for you either way. Thanks for your support!

    Also a disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Click here to read more of this exciting information: Icky Small Print Stuff: privacy policy, copyright, disclaimers, terms and conditions.

    Leave a Comment

    { 3 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post:

    Protect your files with Carbonite Online Backup Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community