Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Juice

Apple cider vinegar (or ACV) and lemon juice is a very popular beverage, and so tasty! Hyped up to cure disease, aid in weight loss and improve digestive and skin issues…

To call this a recipe is a stretch, I mean, it’s just ACV and lemon. But in this post you’ll find out how to make one, whether the claims are worth the hype and more.

Overhead shot of apple cider vinegar and lemon with bushel of apples.


As with all of my recipes, I suggest the highest quality ingredients. And it goes without saying that this is especially true when you have such a simplistic recipe.


I find myself craving this drink, and I love to pair it with soda water, or carbonated water for an extra dose of fancy. I recommend choosing a high quality water purifier like reverse osmosis or a Berkey. Your body is mostly water, enough said.

Apple cider vinegar

Begin with a quality apple cider vinegar with the mother; also known as unpasteurized, unfiltered, or raw apple cider vinegar. This has the best apple flavor, and with the mother means it contains probiotics (with many benefits!).


You may choose freshly squeezed lemon, or a high quality lemon juice, not juice from concentrate. The traditional store brand usually includes lemon oil and preservatives, so check your label. My favorite brand is Lakewood PURE Lemon, it’s so tasty!

How much apple cider vinegar and lemon should I drink a day?

One to two tablespoons. In the studies I read, both for efficacy and safety, limiting your intake to less than two tablespoons daily seemed to be the consensus. This is based on a healthy adult, individual circumstances vary.

First, safety. I recommend diluting the acids, to normalize the pH for the sake of your esophagus and stomach. There are reports that too much acetic acid has caused esophageal erosion. That’s why everything in moderation is key.

I also suggest drinking your beverage through a straw to avoid too much acid lingering on your teeth. As ACV has a pH of less than 5 and your mouth is 6-7 ish.

Secondly, efficacy. Although the exact mechanism of action (or how ACV works) is not known, much of its’ benefits are around blood sugar control and slowing gastric emptying.

This could result in reduced caloric intake, a reduction in weight and normalized blood sugars all of which may improve things diabetes, acne and depressive symptoms.

So, how much apple cider vinegar and lemon do you need per day to benefit? Well, it depends, I’d start with less is more, and titrate up (to no more than 2 tablespoons daily) and see how you feel.

Recipe tips & substitutions

I simply crave this combo, but I didn’t initially. If you’re like me, I started out drinking this beverage with a bit of sweetener. I chose liquid stevia, but you can also add honey, maple syrup, or whatever you prefer.

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, like other vinegars, so it’s likely that other vinegars would produce similar health benefits. You choose what you prefer, and have on hand!

Culinary uses of apple cider vinegar

  • Dressings: I love adding ACV to a simple salad dressing for a nice bite.
  • Baking: ACV is a great addition to balance out a too sweet dessert or aid in the leavening process by supplying an acid.
  • Marinades: Acids help tenderize meat by denaturing proteins and unwinding them for a more a better finished food.
Outdoor shot with falling leaves apple cider vinegar and lemon.

Recipe Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much apple cider vinegar and lemon should I drink a day?

One to two tablespoons. In the studies I read, both for efficacy and safety, limiting your intake to less than two tablespoons daily seemed to be the consensus. This is based on a healthy adult, individual circumstances vary.

What is the mother in apple cider vinegar?

The mother is the living yeast and bacteria that breakdown the sugar in apple cider and create the acid that we know of as ACV. It’s akin to a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) when making kombucha.

Does lemon juice and apple cider vinegar work for weight loss?

It may. Studies have used 1 and 2 tablespoons of ACV for positive effects.

According to a study on obese Japanese participants, daily intake of vinegar resulted in a significant reduction in weight and may be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.

Can I Serve this Detox Lemonade Hot or Cold?

I would serve it cold. Here’s why. First, probiotics (like those found in apple cider vinegar) die above 115 degrees. Second, vitamin C (found in lemon) and some bioactives (found in ACV) can be quite unstable in heat.

Do I need to drink apple cider vinegar?

Although the research is inconclusive; anecdotally speaking, I find the drink tasty, thirst quenching and appetite suppressing.

We see this a lot, science is a bit behind ‘folk remedies’. So rather than waiting on science, let you and your body be the judge. Enjoy!

Glass shot with lemon squeezer and apple cider vinegar in background.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Juice

A totally tangy and thirst quenching beverage full of beneficial probiotics, phytochemical and taste!
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Grab & Go, Make Ahead, Quick, Summertime
Allergen: Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 6kcal


  • Glass
  • Straw


  • 16 ounces water, carbonated optional*
  • 1 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup ice


  • Over ice, add the ACV and lemon juice.
  • Pour in your water, mix with a straw and sip to enjoy.


* You may use regular water, or if you want to be fancy, try carbonated water. 
I do not choose to sweeten this drink (any longer – see post if you’re curious). But if you find the drink too bitter, add a little sweetness with a touch of honey, stevia or your choice sweetener. 


Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.04mg

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