How to Make Barley Water

published by CookieJoe on Dec 9, 2009

Barley Water is a delicious and refreshing drink, and it is very cheap and easy to make.


½ pint of barley (pearl barley is fine)
2 ½ pints of water
Lemon juice (to taste)
Sugar (to taste)


Barley is covered with a fine white dust; before you start you need to wash this dust away.  To do this, place the barley in a large bowl, fill with water and swirl the barley round.  Let the barley settle to the bottom of the bowl then pour out the water, keeping the barley.  Repeat this several times until the water remains clear after swirling the barley.

Next place the barley and the 2 ½ pints of water into a large pan and bring to the boil.  When the water comes to the boil it will froth up, just like boiling pasta, so be ready to turn the heat down as soon as it reaches boiling point.

Simmer gently until the liquid is reduced to about 2 pints.  This can be anything from half an hour to three hours, so check regularly as you don’t want to boil the pan dry.

When done, remove from the heat, or just turn off the heat and let the barley water cool.

Once the barley water is cooled pour it through a sieve into a jug, then put in the fridge to get cold.

Barley Water on its own doesn’t really taste of anything, so you need to flavour it with lemon juice, and sugar to taste.  You can use orange juice, or any other fruit juice, instead of the lemon juice if you prefer.

Note:  You can make any amount of Barley Water you like, as long as you remember the rule, by volume 1 part barley and 5 parts water.

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