Introduction: Black Lemonade

Picture of Black Lemonade

Black lemonade is a refreshing drink that gets its black color from activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal has many health benefits including: preventing hangovers, whitening teeth, anti-aging, and removing toxins from the body. It works by bonding to toxins which get carried out of the body through elimination. (There is a much more scientific explanation of how this works in the link above.)

*Please note that I am not a doctor so do your homework before taking activated charcoal for yourself! It can interfere with some medications.

Step 1: Recipe

Black lemonade is a quick and simple recipe requiring just a few ingredients. You probably have most of them in your kitchen already...except the charcoal.

Black Lemonade

  • juice of one lemon
  • 1-2 capsules activated charcoal
  • stevia or maple syrup
  • water
  • ice


Cut lemon in half and squeeze it with a juicer releasing the juice. Make sure to pick out any seeds that may sneak in. Add lemon juice to a 16 ounce glass.

Break open 1-2 activated charcoal capsules (check dosage on your bottle or container), add to the lemon juice, and stir to combine.

Fill glass to the top with ice and add water. Stir in sweetener to taste. I used 5 drops of stevia. (I like it tart!)

Garnish with a slice of lemon. Drink and enjoy!

**It is important to drink enough water when taking activated charcoal. Some of you may ask 'Why not just take the capsule instead of mixing it in a drink?'. I do this simply so I know that I am consuming enough water to circulate the charcoal well enough in my system. Plus, since activated charcoal has no flavor, the lemonade is delicious!! :)


Ray-N-Tosca (author)2018-01-02

If you look at the source article for the supposed health benefits, you'd see that "Dr. Axe" isn't an MD.

batcrave (author)Ray-N-Tosca2018-01-03

Even worse, the site gives no evidence that he's an axe, either.

(or she?)

(are axes gendered? do they use 'he' and 'she' as pronouns?)

emason (author)batcrave2018-01-09

There are Bearded axes, which admittedly could still be female if you count Dwarves (Tolkein-style).

Str7073 (author)batcrave2018-01-04

I wish there was a like button for comments. haha

SeanB10 (author)2018-01-02

I <3 how the comments fill out the knowledge, i.e. it also absorbs meds so be smart. (And also apparently interferes with the GI tract) I just thought it'd be a nice plot element to a story: Coke is clear in near infra red, I doubt this is. Kid "spy" googles are cheap IR viewers. I swear, you'll see it in a movie as soon as Hollywood finishes "Goodnight Moon 6"

Patrik (author)2017-06-10

Do NOT use activated charcoal if you are a woman using birth control pills! Or are taking any kind of other medication, really... Serving this at a party to a bunch of folks whose medical history you are clueless about would be highly irresponsible, IMHO.

I accidentally discovered a fun and far safer method for producing an almost-black drink a few years ago: blueberry smoothie + spirulina! The dark purple from the blueberries plus dark green from the spirulina turn the smoothie almost completely black. And at least you won't be risking any unexpected pregnancies...

macshout (author)Patrik2018-01-02

I'm not sure what you serve at parties, but charcoal would not be the biggest concern for 'risking unexpected pregnancies' at the ones I have been to - nudge nudge, wink wink.

thesnowtheriver (author)macshout2018-01-02

oh you are funny. and you are right. hahaha .

R1Ch0 (author)Patrik2017-06-11

Dont worry about the charcoal, the moment you put it in with the lemonade the benefit is completely negated. Since the benefit is derived from the massive surface area putting it with stuff immediately fills the pores.
The interaction with orally injested medicines is only really an issue for about an hour(ish) more on an empty stomach.

MarioB137 (author)R1Ch02018-01-02

It is however a brilliant way to remove all those pesky vitamins that are so hopelessly overpowered by sugars in the lemonade anyway and would not stand a chance either way they tried to reach you. :P

thundrepance (author)Patrik2017-06-15

oh, that sounds perfectly HEALTHY & so delicious!i'm crazy about blueberries, & i've been interested in using spirulina for a while. thank-you for the fun recipe!

thesnowtheriver (author)2018-01-02

This is visually very dramatic. all you need is a neon colored straw to complete the look! excellent.

LeslieGeee (author)2018-01-02

If you are concerned about using activated charcoal and still want to make this drink because it is cool looking. Go to Joann's Fabrics or Michael's Craft store and pick up some black food coloring. It comes in paste form and you can mix a bit in a little warm water to dissolve it to get the color you want :)

jwines1 (author)2018-01-02

You are correct Patrick! it rids the body of toxins and that includes medicine. So if you are on ANY medications don't do this.

Nate Lu (author)2017-10-30

Wow looks AWESOME

ZeroviaS (author)2017-09-07

Great recipe. Stevia in itself a great substitute for sugar. And is very beneficial for health. I think adding Zerovia in it would be the best thing. What you think ?

wold630 (author)ZeroviaS2017-09-07

Since Zerovia is stevia I think it would be the same. :)

BaileyM24 (author)2017-06-22

Where can I find charcoal capsules? Do they sell them at Walmart? If so, what isle would they be on?

SaraB180 (author)2017-06-13

The activated charcoal that is sold in stores in NOT the same as what you would encounter as the activated charcoal in the ER. First off it's no where near the potency of ER and it depends on how it was made.
It is not used in treating poisoning. It is used in treating mild cases of gas or very mild gastroenteritis. It is used homeopathically to whiten teeth, remove stains from skin, and to remove smells/ detox when mixed with bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar from arm pits and groins.
It can interfere with a very few medications and will not help a hangover.
While I am not a doctor, I do have a certification in Homeopathic remedies. I am studying for my licensing in herbalism and in aromatherapy.
I would not suggest serving this drink to anyone that you do not have the full background information on even though the charcoal is going to bind to the acid before it is even drunk. However, if you use two full capsules and an unknown ratio of lemon juice, it would be unverifiable. You would be potentially putting someone at risk.
Webmd does have a list of medications that interact with activated charcoal and more information if you need it. Also many great books about herbalism and holistic medicine will cover activated charcoal and to be cautious when using internally.

DallasO3 (author)2017-06-13

Jen, I'm looking to use a photo from here (with credit to you) for a post about the lemonade. Would link back to this page.

TondaC1 (author)2017-06-11

It will stain anything it gets on.

Do NOT use if on any medication. Activated charcoal is what hospitals use to absorb medication in cases of overdoses.

Because this uses only a little I don't know about this; but this hospital is very gritty.

AndrewP304 (author)2017-06-10

I have that exact miyabi! And the Kaizen pairing and chef, along with the birchwood chef knife, I'm saving up for their Black Ash handled knives

darcyjr5 (author)2017-06-10

If you get the flu or nausea or vomiting from food poisoning, mushroom poisoning, charcoal is your best natural remedy. Comment is correct about meds though. It will absorb the bad and the good so be careful with people taking meds.

darcyjr5 (author)2017-06-10

I have never had charcoal stain anything. It whitens your teeth when you brush with it. I use it often and have never had it stain anything. Maybe there is an additive to medical charcoal? That would make it stain?

QazW2 (author)2017-06-09

concerning "settling" problem mentioned.... Assuming the "hours" needed, a simple pump fountain should keep the carbon circulating. I think I remember an instructables from a few years ago (at least two I think) that did just that... Frankly it has been so long that not sure it was here but cannot think where it would have been otherwise (I'm thinking saw it before I knew about Maker)

MoP1 (author)2017-06-08

Love that Miyabi purty! <3

hmcnally (author)2017-06-08

Looks like Darth Vader's lemonade.

ST15 (author)2017-06-08

CAUTION: Please do NOT serve this at ANY parties! You don't ever know what medications your guests may be taking or other reasons that this may be contraindicated for someone. You don't want to harm any of your guests, I'm sure. So play it safe and stear clear of the charcoal. You can always use black food coloring!

wyldecent (author)2017-06-08

As MikeP noted charcoal can affect the absorption of medication in the GI system. That's why it's given to overdose patients in the Emergency Department-- to prevent the drug from being absorbed and causing further harm. Charcoal doesn't really have a taste but can have a gritty texture. As a medical professional (NP), I would suggest drinking this on the rare occasion for fun, such as a Halloween party. There is no good/rigorous scientific evidence that drinking this on a regular basis has health benefits. It can also stain clothing -- you can't get it out of scrubs ;-)

AnthonyB294 (author)2017-06-08

can you add the charcoal to any clear drinks?

Nagytika. (author)2017-06-08

Charcoal is also stops diarhea and can even cause a 'stuck' in the bowel if you know what I mean.

wold630 (author)AnthonyB2942017-06-08


MikeP (author)2017-06-08

Please be careful about doing this regularly if you are on daily maintenance medications, as the charcoal will adsorb and flush these just as it does any toxins.

I look forward to trying this. Very nice Instructable!

rainyj (author)2017-06-07

Does the charcoal stay suspended or does it settle to the bottom? If you made a pitcher of this ahead of time for a party would it remain black or seperate?

wold630 (author)rainyj2017-06-07

The charcoal will eventually settle to the bottom (this takes a few hours), however, all it needs is a quick stir to mix back in, so I think making it ahead of time would be just fine.

mikeasaurus (author)2017-06-06

Wow, what a striking color!

mrsmerwin (author)2017-06-06

I was going to ask about the taste--but you said it has no taste???? Is there any grit? Does is discolor your tongue or lips like a red popsicle does?

wold630 (author)mrsmerwin2017-06-06

The charcoal particles are so fine it doesn't feel gritty and it won't discolor your tongue!

mrsmerwin (author)wold6302017-06-06

I think this may be a great addition to a Halloween party menu. It would go over well at a 40th birthday party too. I will have to get some of the capsules. Would they be in the aisle with the vitamins and herbal suppliments?

wold630 (author)mrsmerwin2017-06-06

Yes, it would be great for Halloween, but I never thought about an 'over the hill' birthday party! Great idea and yes, you can find them with other vitamins and supplements.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator, and Etsy shop owner. I also can't stop ... More »
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