Lemon barley water

Lemon barley water

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Makes
1.5 litres
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

Use pearl barley for this recipe as you want the grain to give up its milky starch to cloud the lemon water. Barley water is an ancient drink that dates back almost 2,000 years. Thought to be health-giving, it was often prescribed to the ill or infirm. Barley water is synonymous now with those fabled tennis lawns in south-west London. It is thirst-quenching and terribly easy to make. Don’t discard the cooked barley – you can still use it in lemon-savvy salads or use it instead of brown rice in coconut porridge.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
65g pearl barley, rinsed well
1.5 litres cold water
2 lemons, pared zested and juiced, see note
2 heaped tablespoons caster sugar, or to taste

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
fresh mint leaves, optional
lemon slices, optional

Method

  1. Put the barley, water and lemon zest into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Skim off any froth that surfaces, then reduce the heat and simmer until the barley is tender – about 15–20 minutes.
  2. Strain the hot barley water into a jug and add the sugar to taste, mixing well to dissolve. Add the lemon juice.
  3. Chill in the fridge.
  4. To serve, pour into tall glasses with plenty of ice and some fresh mint leaves and lemon slices if desired.

Note

  • Unwaxed is best, if not, washed in hot water and given a scrub (use oranges, Seville too, if you prefer)

Note

  • You can also make lemon and ginger barley water with a couple of strips of fresh ginger 5mm thick – boil them along with the barley and lemon zest.
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