Salty Lemonade is a small, independent business that is truly passionate about fermented salty lemonade, and other fermented products. Salty lemonade, called "chanh muoi" in Vietnamese, is a traditional Vietnamese drink that is made with fermented limes or lemons and it has a distinctive taste with much health benefits. Our salty lemonade recipe has a unique making process and history that was passed down from Mother to Daughter. The recipe can be traced back to Vietnam decades earlier when our Mom was fermenting fish sauce, a trade that she learned from her Dad. And, we were told that her Dad's fish sauce was the best in the land. From there, our Mom applied that fish sauce making technique to making salty lemonade and other fermented and preserved foods that her family and friends all rave about. Today, we are delighted to share her years of fermenting experience through our products to the larger community.
How We Began
One day in Grad school, I (the owner) suddenly had a strong craving for salty lemonade; the one that my Mom used to make. And to be honest, when I first had salty lemonade, I did not like it. It took years for me to give it another try, and from then on I was hooked. Now, salty lemonade is literally one of my favorite drinks.
I was living in San Francisco at the time, and “home” was a little too far away to just drive and get some. So I went to 3 different supermarkets in the middle of the night: 2 Asians and 1 American (Vons), hoping to find something to make salty lemonade but nothing was available, nada.
After leaving the supermarkets empty handed, I stopped by the nearest Vietnamese restaurant in order to get some pre made salty lemonade. When I arrived at the restaurant and got the menu, I went straight to the drink section and ordered a cup and decided to stay to eat. I don't recall what food I ordered, but I remember clearly that the salty lemonade that I had tasted horrible. I think I took three sips and threw the rest away because I could barely swallow it.
I was disappointed, and since my craving never dissipated I continued to search at different markets but with no luck. Other Vietnamese restaurants did not satisfy my craving either, and to my shock, they all tasted horrible. Some were not as bad as others, but none were even close to how good my Mom used to make.
I really couldn't believe it and thought to myself, could it really be that hard to make decent salty lemonade? And from there, I knew that I had to get the salty lemonade transmission from my Mom. It was the best way to never have to experience that intense craving again.
After getting the salty lemonade transmission from my Mom, I thought to myself how great it would be to offer it to the public so those who love salty lemonade can have it year round. The idea incubated in my head for a few years, and when I moved to San Diego County, I finally found the time and courage to see the idea through.
Throughout this whole process, it has been a learning experience filled with uncertainties, headache, but fun, and rewarding all at the same time. It was my love of salty lemonade that encouraged me to learn to make salty lemonade, but it was my desire to share it with others that motivated me to start the business, and I hope whoever consumes it, will find much joy and benefits from it.