Try this Versatile and Flavorful Fermented Honey with Meyer Lemons

Lemon fermented honey is an excellent way to nourish your health with complex probiotics and the powerful antioxidant vitamin C. Combine fragrant Meyer lemons and raw honey into a syrup-y concoction that makes delicious food and medicine. Use this basic lemon honey recipe for everything from soothing sore throats to making a delightful vinaigrette!

New to fermenting foods? Be sure to read this compilation of frequently asked questions before you get started!


Contributed by Devon Young

lemon slices in a jar of fermented honey

I have always had a great fondness for the bright citrus-y notes of lemon. This ole girl prefers a nice glass of lemonade over a canned soda any day of the week. There is hardly a more refreshing flavor than lemon. But when I finally discovered Meyer lemons – all bets were off. A lemon-ier lemon, if there were such a thing.

The marvelous Meyer lemon

While most folks are familiar with the common grocery store lemon varieties Eureka or Lisbon (both Citrus limon), the Meyer lemon is actually a lemon and mandarin hybrid (Citrus x meyerii). The Meyer lemon is notably sweeter and less acidic than common lemons, while also sporting darker and more vibrant peel and flesh. The internal layer of pith can be relatively thin compared to other types of lemons, making it less bitter and easier to squeeze by hand.

Meyer lemons are generously fragrant and even just a handful of the sunny beauties can perfume a kitchen with their clean citrus and faintly floral aroma. Like their more common citrus siblings, the Meyer lemon is brimming with vitamin C, a powerful immune booster and cell protector that may help to reduce the intensity and severity of the common cold and flu.

meyer lemons on a green leaf-shaped dish

Ingredients for lemon fermented honey

The lemon fermented honey is a real treat when prepared with raw, preferably local honey. I harvested just under three gallons of beautiful honey from our own hives this last year. Although extracting the honey was a sticky, messy task, the reward was doubly sweet knowing that the glistening jars of amber were filled with the goodness collected from the wildflowers, trees, and berries around our property.

Book cover, backyard herbal apothecary

In The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, author Devon Young introduces readers to the medicinal plants lurking in plain sight.

Learn to identify, grow, and harvest 50 common medicinal herbs from your landscape. The herbal profiles detail the benefits of each herb, and you’ll discover how best to use each type of plant material in recipes for DIY items like salves, syrups, tinctures, and infusions.

It is very important to use raw honey in this recipe. A host of beneficial bacteria and yeast lay dormant in raw honey due to its high osmotic pressure environment. As the honey loosens and thins in this due to the presence of the lemons, it starts to ferment, developing a beneficial microbial environment that is good for the gut and general health.

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Meyer lemons are traditionally only available from December through May, making this citrus perfect for this lemon fermented honey recipe. Regular lemons can be used of course, but this recipe is at its best with the use of Meyer lemons.

Related: Preserve the Harvest with Salted Citrus

slice meyer lemons with a beehive vintage honey pot

Using lemon fermented honey

Use this lemon fermented honey as a syrup to support the immune system and calm a cough and sore throat. A tablespoon of so of the lemon honey (complete with lemon slices) combined with a cup of water just off the boil makes for a delightful cup of tea. Add a splash of whiskey to the lemon honey tea and you have just fixed yourself a super hot toddy. But the use for this lemon honey recipe isn’t limited to medicinal applications. Drizzle this honey over a these buttermilk biscuits or these scones. You can even whisk this up into a sweet and tangy vinaigrette.

Want to take the health benefits of lemon and honey up a few notches with an herbal ally? Check out the echinacea immunity syrup in my new book The Backyard Herbal Apothecary!

lemon fermented honey (with lemon slices) in a swing top glass jar

★ Did you make this lemon fermented honey? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

lemon slices in a jar of fermented honey

Easy Lemon Fermented Honey

Yield: 32
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Fermentation time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days 15 minutes

Lemon fermented honey is an excellent way to nourish your health with complex probiotics and the powerful antioxidant vitamin C. 


  • 3-4 Meyer lemons, sliced thinly with as many seeds removed as possible
  • 1-1 ½ cups raw honey , to cover


  1. Pour a small amount of honey in the bottom of a clean jar.
  2. Alternate layers of a few sliced lemons and more honey until the jar is filled. Use a spoon or a skewer to gently stir and remove air pockets. pouring honey into a jar of sliced lemons
  3. Loosely place a lid on the jar, as this lemon honey recipe ferments best with some oxygen exposure.
  4. Stir gently to coat the lemon slices with honey at least twice daily, for 5-10 days over which time the honey will thin and may start to bubble slightly.
  5. This lemon fermented honey is finished when you like the flavor – these is no set end point. When you are happy with the flavor, store your lemon honey in the refrigerator. Discard if signs of mold appear.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 48Unsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 13gSugar: 13g

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About the author: Devon Young is the founder of the website where she writes on herbalism, foraging, homesteading and cooking from scratch, and the author of The Backyard Herbal Apothecary (April 2019).  Devon has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences and devotes much of her time to speaking with clients and making herbal remedies.   When not tending to her duties as an herbalist, author and blogger, Devon can probably be found gardening, dreaming about gardening, or asking for obscure plants at gardening centers.

36 comments… add one
  • jazz Mar 6, 2023 @ 15:36

    Hello! I made some of this about two weeks ago and I Love it! Is it necessary to put it in the fridge after ten days? Can it remain self stable?

    • AttainableSustainable Mar 9, 2023 @ 5:46

      Putting it in the fridge will stop the fermentation, so if you like where it’s at now I’d do that! Otherwise, it should be ok on the shelf for longer, just keep checking on it. Enjoy!

  • Betty Feb 28, 2023 @ 12:38

    I made some today. After it’s fermented, and I store in the refrigerator, do I still have to burp the jar daily?

    • AttainableSustainable Mar 2, 2023 @ 4:10

      No, you shouldn’t have to, the refrigerator slows everything down.

  • Sandy Duncan Jan 24, 2023 @ 13:47

    Can I make this with other types of lemons? I don’t have access to Meyer lemons.

    • AttainableSustainable Jan 26, 2023 @ 5:21

      Yes, regular lemons work just fine.

  • hs Jan 23, 2023 @ 13:24

    Can I add turmeric and grated ginger to this or will it get moldy?

    • AttainableSustainable Jan 26, 2023 @ 5:27

      You can add those, it should be fine!

  • Silvia Jan 23, 2023 @ 13:13

    Could I do this with Eureka lemons?

    • AttainableSustainable Jan 26, 2023 @ 5:29

      Sure! Any lemons will work, so use what you have access to.

  • stacey Aug 11, 2022 @ 16:22

    what if i have local honey but it is not raw? what would happen if I use that?

    • AttainableSustainable Aug 16, 2022 @ 8:15

      It won’t ferment with pasteurized honey, so using raw honey is a must for this recipe.

  • Jo Apr 20, 2022 @ 12:36

    You eat the whole lemon correct?
    Can I add turmeric to this?

    • AttainableSustainable Apr 21, 2022 @ 5:40

      You can eat the lemon, and yes try adding turmeric!

  • Robbie Apr 15, 2022 @ 11:40

    What does it look like if mold grows in it???

    • AttainableSustainable Apr 19, 2022 @ 6:45

      It would look moldy most likely on top, fuzzy with a pink or green tinge.

  • Mike Roder Jan 14, 2022 @ 12:35

    Can I leave the lemons in the honey?
    I’ve made a couple batches and absolutely love it.

    • AttainableSustainable Jan 18, 2022 @ 8:05

      Yes, there’s no need to take them out unless you want to. I’m glad you love it!

      • Alex Oct 16, 2022 @ 16:48

        Hi! I’m curious if maple syrup would work well as a replacement for honey in this recipe?

        • AttainableSustainable Oct 20, 2022 @ 5:59

          I haven’t tried that, but it likely wouldn’t ferment as well as raw honey.

  • June Hill Dec 13, 2021 @ 11:46

    I may have missed it, but what size jar do I use? Thanks

    • AttainableSustainable Dec 14, 2021 @ 10:14

      A pint should do it, or a quart if you want more room!

  • NORMA COLLINS Sep 14, 2021 @ 17:10

    I saw your recipe on Pinterest. I took it down to put in my cookbook so in December I’m planning on making thus recipe for Fermented Honey-Lemon!! It really sounds good to me!

    I’m also interested in your in your book. I would like to know how to get a copy of it!

    Thank you,
    Norma Collins

  • Cat Jul 30, 2021 @ 18:02

    On average, how long does this recipe last before it goes mouldy?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 10, 2021 @ 10:02

      It should last 2-3 months or so.

  • Carol Jun 2, 2021 @ 5:44

    I have 32oz of raw unfiltered honey that is well within it’s sell by date, but it must not have been stored properly, and already has an alcoholic and slightly sour taste. Is it ok to use that in this recipe?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 6, 2021 @ 16:41

      Seems like it would be a good way to use it!

  • Breanna Sep 15, 2020 @ 8:31

    Can you add ginger to this fermentation?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 18, 2020 @ 11:03

      Sure. Fermentation is more flexible than canning. Perfectly fine to fiddle with it a bit!

  • Nicole Oct 4, 2019 @ 5:29

    Hi, I have some that’s several years old. It’s not moldy but it’s very potent smelling. Do you think it’s still good medicine, or will it make me sick?

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 5, 2019 @ 14:27

      I’m sorry, I just can’t answer that for you from way over here!

  • Samantha Sep 17, 2019 @ 15:54

    Hello! I have some raw unpasteurized honey but it’s creamed honey. Can I use that for this recipe?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 20, 2019 @ 12:45

      I don’t see why not, though the result may be cloudy looking.

  • Your description of the Meyer lemon has me drooling over the idea of summertime lemonade! This recipe sounds really good too; but I can’t get past the thought of an iced lemonade on a sweltering August afternoon. Saving this for later!

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 27, 2019 @ 17:50

      A sweltering August afternoon sounds really good when it’s still chilly outside, doesn’t it??

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