Stepping out in the hot sun? Don’t forget to grab some barley lemonade! Say hello to our favorite drink which lives forever in our fridge. Barley lemonade is a nutrient dense drink which is just what you need on a scorching day.
Barley lemon water or lemon barley is probably the most sipped drink in Singapore after iced tea. Available in almost all hawker stalls and even in tetra packs in most stores, this popular drink is an integral part of our lives. My mom told me recently that packaged barley water has become common in India too.
But here is the plot twist. While everyone living in Singapore sips on this healthy drink happily, I simply cannot stand the smell of barley water. Which is exactly why I resort to ideas such as making lemonade with orange, ginger & other aromatics. Everyone at home loves this and my little one calls this barley juice.
We all know that barley is widely used in brewing beer. My love for barley grew after coming to Singapore because it is here that I learned its nutritional benefits too. I was stumped to know that there is even a barley tea when I moved here newly.
For the uninitiated, barley is rich in fiber and vitamin B1. It is a great cereal to eat if you are looking to bring down your cholesterol levels.
This post includes three recipes- recipe for barley water, lemon barley drink recipe and the lemonade with orange and ginger. Use the table of contents below to easily navigate through the post.
What is barley water?
Before we get on to making that lemonade, let us delve deep into the concept of barley water. This is nothing but the water that is drained from cooked pearl barley. The reserved water from the cooked barley is naturally diuretic. Not only this, it also helps regulate blood sugar and helps in treating urinary tract infections.
How to make barley water?
Barley water preparation is a very simple and easy process. You can use the cooked barley to make this delicious barley salad.
To prepare barley water, follow the steps mentioned in how to cook pearl barley post. Once the barley has cooked, strain the cooked barley through a colander and collect the water. This is our barley water. Some people wait for the starch to settle down and then collect just the water. I do not do this. You can do this if you wish to.
I use my instant pot to cook barley since it is very convenient and less time-consuming. This is how plain barley water looks like.
If you are making barley water for the purpose of making this lemonade or lemon barley, skip adding the coconut oil while cooking pearl barley.
How to make lemon barley?
Once you have the water collected, making lemon barley is as easy as pie. Allow the water to cool down completely. When cool, just add a squeeze of lemon and some mint leaves to the collected water. Stir well. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or serve over ice cubes.
I usually make a big batch of barley water in my instant pot. Then, I add the lemon to it, mix well and pour it into bottles. I keep these bottles chilled so that anyone can grab one when they are thirsty. On hot days, I send a bottle as a part of my H’s lunch.
This is our usual lemon barley bottle. Think of this as a lemon barley cordial or lemon barley squash base. I love experimenting with this basic recipe and this lemonade is a result of one such experiments.
Benefits of Barley water
Making barley water has become a routine for me. It is so easy to prepare and very good in terms of nutrition. Barley water uses are also many.
- Barley water is a natural diuretic. Are you wondering what a diuretic is? Diuretics remove excess water from the body and are usually prescribed for people with high blood pressure. One of the most common reasons why preganant women experience feet swelling is due to high blood pressure. So barley water is commonly prescribed to pregnant women since it is a natural diuretic.
- It helps regulating blood sugar and is great for people with diabetes.
- Some people also believe that drinking barley water regularly aids weight loss. If you want to know how to make barley water for weight loss, the process is the same as mentioned in the recipe card. Just skip the oil while cooking the barley.
- This is also a natural coolant that is free from any refined sugar and other preservatives.
The first step in this recipe is the barley water preparation. To do this, we have to cook the pearl barley till tender and chewy and then filter the water. Here is the detailed procedure-
Place the barley in a colander and wash it well. To the inner insert of your Instant pot, add the washed barley and water along with 1 tsp salt. Mix well. Ensure that the sealing ring is in its correct place in the lid. Close the IP with the lid. Turn the valve to SEALING. Now switch on the PRESSURE COOK MODE ON HIGH FOR 15 MINS.
Allow the cooking cycle to complete. When the cooking cycle is complete, do a natural pressure release for 15 mins. After 15 mins, quick-release pressure by turning the valve to venting. When done, strain the cooked pearl barley in a colander and reserve the water that you just drained.
Cooking barley in an open pan
Wash the pearl barley well. Combine the washed pearl barley, 5 cups water, 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp cold pressed coconut oil. Bring the water to a boil and continue to simmer for 40 to 50 mins or until the barley has cooked. To check if it has cooked, take a few grains of barley using a slotted spoon. Press them and if they are soft, then they are cooked.
When done, drain the cooked grains in a colander and reserve the water.
This is our homemade barley water.
Allow this water to cool completely.
Making the lemonade
In a bowl, combine the barley water, orange juice, lemon juice, maple syrup and lemon grass along with grated ginger. Mix well. Chill for 3 to 4 hours.
Chilling not only makes this a refreshing drink but also helps infuse the flavors better. The longer the lemonade sits in the fridge, the better the flavors.
When chill, serve in tall glasses with a lemon wedge by the side. You can also add some mint leaves for garnish.
- You can use other sweeteners like honey, organic coconut sugar or agave instead of maple syrup in this recipe.
- Skip the orange juice and just serve this lemon juice and other aromatics.
- You can also add other herbs like lemon balm, mint or sweet basil to this lemonade.
Explore More Lemonade Recipes
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Barley lemonade with orange & ginger
For cooking the barley
- ½ c Pearl barley
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 c Water
For the lemonade
- 600 ml barley water
- 300 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 to 5 small pieces roughly chopped lemon grass
- 2 tsp grated ginger
Cooking pearl barley in Instant Pot
- Place the barley in a colander and wash it well.
- To the inner insert of your Instant pot, add the washed barley and water along with 1 tsp salt.
- Mix well. Ensure that the sealing ring is in its correct place in the lid. Close the IP with the lid.
- Turn the valve to SEALING. Now switch on the PRESSURE COOK MODE ON HIGH FOR 15 MINS.
- Allow the cooking cycle to complete.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, do a natural pressure release for 15 mins.
- After 15 mins, quick-release pressure by turning the valve to venting.
- When done, strain the cooked pearl barley in a colander and reserve the water that you just drained.
Cooking barley in an open pan
- Wash the pearl barley well.
- Combine the washed pearl barley, 5 cups water and 2 tsp salt.
- Bring the water to a boil and continue to simmer for 40 to 50 mins or until the barley has cooked.
- To check if it has cooked, take a few grains of barley using a slotted spoon.
- Press them and if they are soft, then they are cooked.
- When done, drain the cooked grains in a colander and reserve the water.
- This is our homemade barley water.
- Allow this water to cool completely.
Making the lemonade
- In a bowl, combine the barley water, orange juice, lemon juice, maple syrup and lemon grass along with grated ginger.
- Mix well.
- Chill for 3 to 4 hours. Serve cold.