Activated charcoal & basil lemonade

  • 2


  • Prep time

    Prep Time 5

  • Total time

    Total Time 7

  • Easy time


  • Vegan time


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Refresh, detoxify and rejuvenate with our twist on a classic drink. Full of refreshing citrus flavour with the addition of cleansing charcoal powder, our charcoal lemonade recipe is a new take on a childhood favourite.

A classic, reinvented

Is there anything that conjures up a hot summer’s day spent sunbathing in the garden than an ice-cold glass of homemade lemonade?

We don’t think so - and since we love to be transported to the heady days of summer whenever we can, we’ve created this fabulously nostalgic recipe, with a healthy twist.

Tangy, freshly-squeezed lemon juice is offset with a hint of natural sweetness, while activated charcoal brings an intriguingly rich, dark hue, and some sneaky health benefits to boot.

If you’re nervous about adding charcoal to your drink, don’t worry - it doesn’t affect the flavour at all. In fact, activated charcoal has a neutral flavour which is undetectable when combined with the powerful flavour of fresh lemon.

It’s also completely soluble, so there’ll be no grittiness. Rather, the final texture is the smooth, classic one you’d expect from homemade lemonade.

Our charcoal lemonade recipe

Like all of our recipes, our charcoal lemonade is completely vegan and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy a glass. Simply follow the steps on the right for our very own Erbology version of how to make charcoal lemonade.

Use the freshest lemons you can find. A good tip, when you’re at the supermarket, is to weigh a few lemons in your hand. The ones which seem heavier for their size will contain more juice - perfect for making a pitcher of lemonade.

Where traditional lemonade recipes call for scoops of refined sugar, we’ve managed to whittle it down to a squeeze of natural sweetener per portion.

We’ve gone for honey to counteract the bright sharpness of the lemon juice, or you could easily substitute in agave syrup. A couple of bright basil leaves add a fresh fragrance and a grown-up edge.

You’ll only need a small amount of charcoal powder to recreate the pitch black shade of our lemonade; about 1/2 tsp will be enough to make two servings.

Of course, the charcoal isn’t just there to add colour and interest. It has benefits for your body, too.

  activated charcoal benefits

What does activated charcoal do?

Our activated charcoal is made from organic willow. It is ‘activated’ by heating it at an extreme temperature without the presence of oxygen, so it doesn’t catch fire.

Instead, its surface becomes extremely porous and full of tiny cracks and crevices. This gives it an extraordinarily large surface area.

Activated charcoal attracts toxins and binds them to its surface, creating a kind of film. This process is called adsorption, and activated charcoal is exceptionally good at it.

This is largely because there’s enough surface space for lots of molecules to bind to. So, even a small amount of activated charcoal sucks up a lot of toxins.

Our activated charcoal lemonade is a refreshing drink for any time of day. However, it’s especially good if you’re having a bit of tummy trouble.

Activated charcoal has been traditionally used as a digestive aid for generations. Meanwhile, modern scientific studies have shown it to reduce bloating, abdominal cramps and gas.(1)

Many cultures simply stir a few teaspoons of activated charcoal into water. However, there’s no reason why you can’t turn it into a delicious drink with the addition of a few fresh lemons. They’ll also add a boost of vitamin C!

When to drink our charcoal lemonade

We think our pretty, pitch-black lemonade is the perfect drink for an at-home spa day. It’s so refreshing, you can practically feel all the bad stuff leaving your system.

Indeed, activated charcoal is pretty potent when it comes to soaking up other substances. There are a couple of occasions when you should take extra care before drinking.

If you’re taking prescription medication, speak to your doctor before drinking activated charcoal. This is because it may interfere with how much medication is absorbed into your body.

You should also make sure that, if you take vitamin supplements, you leave a gap of at least two hours before drinking our charcoal lemonade.

However, if you’re feeling in need of a natural drink that will leave you feeling refreshed and detoxed, our charcoal lemonade might just become a new favourite.


Typical nutrition / serving

    Here's how you make it

    1. Whisk together lemon juice and honey or agave. Then, add activated charcoal and mix well.
    2. Add filtered water and mix again.
    3. Add ice cubes and decorate with lemon slices and basil leaves. Enjoy!

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