Combine lemon juice, whey, and sugar in the clean canning jar. Stir gently, but don't worry if all the sugar doesn't dissolve immediately. Fill the remainder of the jar with filtered water, leaving two inches of headspace. Cap it tightly, and leave in a dark place for 4-7 days. Don't panic if you have weird, white drifting masses during the fermentation process - they're harmless. Just strain them if they squick you out. Yields one quart.
Because most of the sugar will be eaten up by the lactobacillus in the whey, it tastes quite a bit tarter after fermented - feisty and summery and delicious over ice. And, as an added bonus, the lemonade has the delightful quality of being somewhat self-perpetuating: in your next batch, you may substitute 1/2 cup of fermented lemonade for the 1/4 cup of whey.
And, for fun, here's the cost breakdown.
- 1.125 cups of Fentimans Victorian Lemonade: $2.25
Total: $2.25 per bottle, or $2.00 per cup.
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (the juice of 2 lemons at $0.40 each): $0.80
- 1/4 cup whey: effectively free, if you buy or make yogurt: $0.00 for my purposes, though that may not be true for you
- 1/2 cup sugar (~92 grams of sugar in a 2270 gram (5 pound) bag at approximately $4 dollars per bag): $0.16
- Filtered water: effectively free for me, so: $0.00 for my purposes, though that may not be true for you.
- 1-quart mason jar (12-pack is $11.99): $0.99, though you could easily use another container
Total: $1.96 for one quart of lemonade, or $0.49 per cup.
Less expensive, healthier, and completely delicious? I think I'll be making this lacto fermented lemonade again, soon. I think I'd also like to experiment with ginger-lemonade, cranberry-lemonade, raspberry lemonade, limeade...the possibilities are endless!