This immunity health tonic is made with turmeric, ginger, citrus, and honey. It is a flavor-packed sparkling beverage and an enjoyable way to get a dose of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
I designed this health tonic to pack in as many immune-boosting properties as possible into a relatively mild-tasting beverage, perfect for kids or anyone with a sensitive stomach.
It uses the natural fermentation power of raw honey to add a boost of probiotics. The result is a delicious sparkling beverage that’s perfect for every day health and wellness.
Fermenting with raw honey is so easy that it’s perfect for anyone who is new to fermentation.
Other Immune boosting ferments
Probiotics have a huge role to play in helping your immune system fight off colds, flu, and infections. That’s why there are so many different immune-boosting fermented beverages.
- Probiotic ginger beer is a traditional cure for nausea and stomach flu.
- Fire cider is a very strong tonic, with everything from onions to chili peppers in it.
- Immune boosting kvass is a salt-based fermented drink that I enjoy as a rehydration beverage.
- Fermented turmeric soda is packed with antioxidants
This health tonic is a mix of these beverages. It’s milder than fire cider and ginger beer. The flavor is fairly similar to a commercial cold and flu beverage. However, it’s entirely natural and the sweetness depends on how long it ferments.
Serving Fermented Health Tonic
This tonic can be enjoyed warm or cold. However, because it is a live, probiotic beverage it does require some care when bottling and serving it.
Warm and soothing
- To enjoy your health tonic as a warm and soothing beverage, store it in a jar with a loose-fitting lid. Then it won’t build up carbonation as it ferments. Any jar with a lid that is not fully tightened will work.
- Mix with warm, not boiling, water. I enjoy a 50/50 mix of water and tonic.
- It’s important not to heat up the beverage too much as that could potentially kill the probiotics. Ideally, you want the beverage to be around 115 F (46 C). That’s warm to the touch, but not hot.
Fresh and Sparkling
This fermented health tonic will naturally build up carbonation as it ferments. Here are the additional steps needed to turn it into a carbonated beverage:
- After fermenting, transfer the liquid to an air-tight bottle that can handle the carbonation. Flip-top beer bottles and plastic pop bottles are both ideal. Do not use decorative flip-top bottles as they may not be able to handle the pressure of carbonation.
- Leave the bottle out on the counter to continue fermenting for 2 days.
- Once it is carbonated, store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation. It should last for up to a month in the fridge.
Citrus And Honey Health Tonic
This tonic is a strong and flavorful ferment that is designed to boost your immune system. It’s packed with citrus, ginger, turmeric, and honey. Unlike fire cider and other immune-boosting ferments, this health tonic is gentle on a sensitive stomach and the flavor is mild enough for children.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 3 cups 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 organic lemon
- 1 organic lime
- 3-inch piece of ginger
- 3-inch piece of fresh turmeric (or 2 Tbsp ground turmeric)
- 1/4 cup unpasteurized honey (see notes)
- 3 cups filtered water
- Wash lemon and lime. Slice them in half and squeeze the juice into a 1-quart (1 L) jar. Then add the peels and pulp to the jar.
- Wash and dice the turmeric and ginger. There’s no need to peel them, the skin helps with the ferment. Add them to the jar.
- Add in the honey. Pour in the water, leaving at least 1 inch of headroom at the top of the jar.
- Cover the jar with a loose or use a fermentation-specific lid (like a pickle pipe) that will allow gas to escape as it ferments. Place the jar somewhere warm and dark to ferment for 3 to 5 days. Stir once per day with a clean spoon.
- To serve, pour through a fine-mesh sieve. If the flavor is too strong, then dilute with filtered water, as necessary. See the section above for details on how to bottle your health tonic to turn it into a sparkling beverage.
- Store in the refrigerator and use within 1 month.
- Unpasteurized honey has a natural bacterial culture, which will ferment when mixed with water. Because of the health risks associated with the consumption of raw honey, this is not recommended for pregnant women, children under the age of 1 year, or anyone who may be immunocompromised.
- Alternatively, brew your health tonic with ginger bug! Ginger bug is a wild-fermented culture made from grated ginger, turmeric, and sugar. So it is a perfect alternative for anyone looking to avoid honey. You will need to add 2 Tbsp of raw sugar to make a carbonated beverage with ginger bug.
- Feel free to use oranges instead of lemon and lime. Either option will give you a boost of vitamin C.
Keywords: immune boosting, healthy, probiotic, super food, gluten free, paleo, fall, winter
We just started making this regularly, and boy is it awesome! It’s straight out of a healthy juice bar. I try to do a shot a day. It’s nice and zippy, with the ginger and carbonation. Thank you for posting this.
Glad you like it!
I have made this 6 days ago, but it hasn’t had any sparkle or fizz, is this normal? Will it still be ok to drink?
It depends on what you used as your starter. Did you use raw honey? Or an added starter? Yogurt or vegetable starter won’t fizz. But other starters should. However, unless you bottle it in an airtight bottle, it won’t build up any carbonation.
This is all sooo totally amazing!!! I never knew such wonderful mixtures existed. Thank you
Glad you enjoyed it!
Is this like kombucha?
Not really… it won’t have the same tannins and acidity as kombucha. The flavor is actually quite strong… like neocitron. (Is that a cold/flu product you’ve tried?) Probably the best way to describe it is a strong citrus and ginger flavor. Cheers!
Thank You, no I have not tried that. The recipe sounds good though, I might in time give it a try, again thank you.
I am looking how to ferment lemons because I have been pureeing one whole lemon (minus seeds), juice of half of another lemon, fresh ginger root, ground turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, and a bit coconut oil to add to my green tea. I keep it in a jar in the fridge. I’ve recently started fermenting other veggies. Do you think I can just leave the lemon/ginger mixture I am making out to ferment for a few days? The other fermenting I’m doing requires the veggies to be submerged. Can I just add pure lemon juice to top of the puree to protect it from oxygen?
Hi Donna, I have done salt-fermented lemons and used fresh lemon as a flavor in other ferments. Your puree sounds nutrient-packed and delicious. However, I recommend doing a more traditional ferment with the lemon and ginger, then add the coconut oil and dried spices. There are two ways to ferment a lemon-ginger mix. It either has to be with salt or sugar. Otherwise, there’s no way to prevent the chance of it going off. Are you OK with honey? Probably the best way to ferment something like this would be to add a Tbsp of raw honey. Raw honey is a really strong culture. Fermentation will eat up most of the sugars, so the final product won’t be that sweet. I still recommend either using a weight to keep the pulp from floating or make sure to stir the mixture every day.
Does that help? Cheers, Emillie