I am so excited to share this new homemade soda recipe with you! Lemon Leaf Soda is something I have been making here at home in Spain for the last couple of years, and it’s unlike anything I have ever made (or bought) before. The flavor is very herbal and has hints of citrus blossom fragrance. There is a tiny bitterness that makes it a great stand-in for an all-natural tonic water in cocktails, too. I think you will love it!
One of the fun things about making lemon leaf soda is that you can easily collect leaves from your lemon tree, and it’s the perfect project to do after pruning (but if you can’t wait until pruning season, you can just collect leaves from all over the tree).
I know you may be wondering… Why lemon leaves? Well, first of all, they are readily available if you grow lemons, and always in season! But there are health benefits, too. Lemon leaves have herbal properties that make them useful for treating a range of issues. Most notably, they have a sedative and anti-spasmodic effect. The most common way herbalists recommend using them is just making a tea with them and drinking it regularly. So this soda is perfect, since it’s essentially fermented lemon leaf tea!
Health Issues Supported by Drinking Lemon Leaf Tea Include:
- Anxiety and Nervousness
- Stomach Aches
So if you have a lemon tree, you may want to also consider making lemon leaf tea! Just steep about five leaves in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey if you need to. It’s good!
Now, on to the recipe!
How to Make Lemon Leaf Soda
Lemon Leaf Soda is unlike anything I have made (or bought) before! The flavor is very herbal and has hints of citrus blossom fragrance. There is a tiny bit of bitterness that makes it a great stand-in for an all-natural tonic water in cocktails, too. I think you will love it!
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Fermentation
- A bunch of well-rinsed, organic lemon leaves. The amount is somewhat flexible, but I used about 500 grams, or a big bowl full.
- Filtered or fresh water. I used about a gallon, and again, this is flexible.
- The juice of one lemon
- Sugar, local raw honey (if you don’t have a good source, you can order it online here,) or evaporated cane juice. About one cup.
- A probiotic starter culture source. This can be the contents of a probiotic capsule (this is the kind I use), or whey. You can get this by just draining some off of your yogurt or kefir. I usually use about 1/4 cup.
1. Bring a pot with a gallon of water to a boil. Add your washed lemon leaves, add a cover, and steep overnight.
2. Strain the “tea” from the leaves, and mix in the honey or sugar, lemon juice, and starter culture. You want it sweet, but nothing crazy. Keep in mind that the sugars here will be digested to make the fizz you’re after, so you want it a bit sweeter than your end product. We like our drinks to be barely-sweet, so this is very individual.
3. Pour all of this liquid into glass containers or demijohns. Cover loosely, or add an airlock, and put it in your cupboard or another place that it won’t be disturbed.
4. Wait. Taste. Wait. I made a couple of smaller batches and one larger, and the small ones fermented more quickly. There’s something about the compounds in the lemon leaves that makes them ferment much more slowly than other types of soda I have made before. Be patient, it could take up to a month, depending on heat and other conditions. The upside is that this lemon leaf soda seems to be much more stable than fruit sodas, that can quickly over-ferment and become way to fizzy or too dry. I’ve kept bottles of lemon leaf soda in the fridge for months and months, without and they just get better! When it’s a barely sweeter than you want your final product, pour the soda into swing-top (grolsch-style) bottles and let it sit for another week or two, to develop some good fizz. You must use this kind of bottle— it could explode otherwise.
6. When your bottles of lemon leaf soda are ready, just store in the fridge or in a cool place.
- Fresh, young lemon leaves are the most flavorful.
- If you want to keep your soda for quite a while and are concerned about the buildup of carbon dioxide, just check them now and then, releasing any buildup of gas.
This method can be adapted for so many different kinds of drinks. You can also save a little of your soda to use to culture your next batch. Right now I am making a Rhubarb Soda with Mint. A lot of the natural soda recipes out there require special cultures, but this one is so easy and accessible. I hope you’ll try it!
For more fermented beverage projects, you may want to check out these probiotic soda recipes:
And for more adult homebrews, check these out:
- Nettles Beer
- Blackberry “Cider”
- Hard Apple Cider (from whole apples, without a press)
- Apple Peel Cider
- Rhubarb Wine
- Plum Wine
- Elderberry Wine
- Sparkling Rose Petal Wine
I hope you enjoy this lemon leaf soda, and that it will inspire you to try some variations– I think adding an herb like thyme would be delicious, for example! And as I mentioned before, I think it would work really well in some natural cocktails. Enjoy!
Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica says
Oh to have a lemon tree in the back yard!!!!! This looks like a fabulous recipe. I wonder if I can adapt using my lemon verbena?
It’s still a tiny plant but if you think it may possibly work… I have pinned your recipe and would LOVE to try it with what i do have access to.. alas.. not lemons.. in the garden! Thanks for the super idea!
I think verbena is a very interesting and promising idea! Make a tea with it, sweeten with honey, and see how it goes! (And report back, please! 🙂 )
Lindsey Dietz says
I had no idea lemon leaves had so many benefits! This is the epitome of creative! Love all that bubbly fizz, too!
Wow I never realized you could just use a probiotic capsule to make your own fermented soda! I brew my own buch but have always been too intimidated to try soda – that’s a great trick and makes it seem so easy!
I’ve made cultured sodas a number of ways, and it was kind of an “aha!” moment for me when I realized I could just use a probiotic capsule. That said, it works well to use some cultured soda for the next batch, as the types of bacteria that do best in that environment will have grown stronger.
Rachel M says
This looks yummy! And there are so many options! Love that it’s probiotic too =)
Yes, the options are unlimited– so much fun!
Megan Stevens says
I learned so much, sounds lovely! I like the idea of living in a climate where I could have happy lemon trees and lemon leaves growing year round!
Yes! This has been such a nice dream-come-true for me. I love citrus so much.
Shelby @Fitasamamabear says
I’ve never even thought of using lemon leaves! Looks awesome
It seems like hardly anyone uses them, but they are such an easy resource if you have lemon trees. I’d like to explore what else I can do with them…
linda spiker says
I have never seen or heard of lemon leaf soda before! So pretty and I bet it smells fabulous!
Oh, it does smell so good! 🙂
love this idea! I have never seen lemon leaves for purchase, will be looking!
Julie Saldana says
I used to drink lemon soda. But if there is an additional smell of herbs and citrus notes, I have never tried it. But it’s definitely great. Thanks for your post for sharing the benefits of Lemon Leaf Soda
Christina | Newhealthkart says
Thanks for sharing about this amazing receipe.
This is very much helpful for health.
I’m also use this since 2016.
I love it…
CBD Blog says
It gives me so much joy to see your posts pop up in my reader again! Glad you’re getting a little more space in your days to share with us.
This is wonderful I never thought of
Playing with my grandsons today we picked a lemon leaf and immediately noticed how amazing they smell and we couldn’t stop sniffing them. At the same time I thought there has to be some way to use them and some amazing benefits to get from them too.
For some reason I kept thinking of using them as a wrap around food the way you use banana leaves. I also wondered if you could boil them in water and drink as a tea so I can’t tell you how happily surprised I was to find this site. I can’t wait until I can try out some recipes tomorrow especially the lemon leaf soda.
Right now I drink a lot of water with lemon zest, pink himalayan salt(as much as you can tolerate) and a little sugar. It’s not only wonderful and a little like gatorade with the sweet and salty flavor but it has cured my heat intolerance about 75-80%. Started drinking for the anxiety and headache relief benefits but as Spring and Summer started last year I noticed a huge life changing difference and knew it was the lemon zest and himalayan salt.
Bluegrass Remedies says
Sounds cool! I just think that mint leaves could be a better kick for the punch hehe
Stefani Souza says
I have followed the recipe and it’s been about 20-30 days and it doesn’t seem to be fermenting. Can you give me some pointers?
Hi Woukd love you try this awesome recipe but wondering when using probiotic capsules how much would be needed per gallon of water? Thanks in advance…Cynthia 💛 🍋🍃
Elaine Eddins says
Hey! Just wondering…I have a fabulous grapefruit tree and the leaves smell amazing! Do you think that I could use those leaves instead?