BLDG 5’s artisan lemonade hits shelves in dozens of supermarkets across the South

What’s the secret to great lemonade? A perfect balance between fresh squeezed lemon juice, sugar and water, say BLDG 5 owners Misti and Brumby Broussard, whose signature BLDG 5 Lemonade is an artisan riff on the trendy, beloved beverage. The couple announced last week that they’ve begun bottling the wildly popular product, and it’s now being carried by numerous regional supermarkets—part of a large-scale distribution plan targeting the Southern United States.

Since the restaurant opened at the end of 2019, BLDG 5 has pushed the envelope on local dining with a shareable, mix-and-match menu chock-full of global flavors. Its lemonade, which Brumby makes by hand for the restaurant, has long been a big seller. With a subtle flavor that seesaws between tart and sweet, the drink is blended with a variety of fruits and herbs, including ginger, rosemary, mango and berries. Since day one, it’s been featured on the menu and in the restaurant’s retail case, and is often requested in gallon form for to-go catering.

BLDG 5 Lemonade’s creators, Brumby and Misti Broussard.

“It just became that thing we could never make enough of,” Misti says.

The couple has worked on bottling the product for about three-and-half-years, they say. One of the biggest challenges was nailing down the formula for a shelf-stable version that tasted exactly like Brumby’s small-batch runs. It was tricky, particularly since the Broussards were creating four flavors: Ginger Blueberry Rosemary; Mango Strawberry Basil; Peach Pineapple Mint; and Pear Basil Jalapeño. The first ingredient is the main one you’ll taste, Brumby says.

“We ended up going through two food scientists,” he says, adding that they cut ties with one company after it couldn’t get the flavor right after a year-and-a-half. “The second one really nailed it.”

Bottling began in October at a Virginia facility with a first run of 84,000 bottles. The large-scale production has enabled the Broussards to quickly distribute the lemonade to retailers across the South, including several Associated Grocers member stores and Rouses Markets. It’s also been picked up by KeHE distributors.

Brumby still makes the lemonade by hand for the restaurant, but he says he’s pleased with the quality control of the new bottles.

BLDG 5 Lemonade is made with fresh fruits and herbs.

“(At the restaurant), we make five gallons at a time with a blender,” Brumby says. “But at the bottling facility, and it was the exact same process, just on a 2,000-gallon scale.”

The Broussards say the lemonades are great to sip any time of the year both on their own or paired with spirits. The restaurant often incorporates the lemonade in craft cocktails, or just in vodka lemonade—Brumby’s personal favorite. Misti says they’ve recently used it in a vinaigrette for a pear gorgonzola salad, and have reduced it to make a glaze for proteins.

BLDG 5 features its Pear Basil Jalapeño Lemonade in this cocktail with tequila, agave and lime.

Find BLDG 5 Lemonade in Baton Rouge at Iverstine Market, Mulberry Market, Alexander’s Highland Market, Calvin’s Bocage Market, Bet-R Grocery, Matherne’s LSU, Southside Produce, Maxwell’s, Bin-Q Liquor, Calandro’s, BLDG 5 Market and soon, all local Rouses. Order it online at bldg5lemonade.com.