How to make Barley Water in 3 easy steps

Barley water is commonly available to buy from the supermarket but here we are going to show you how you can easily make your own fresh delicous version that is free from artificial colours, preservatives and sweeteners etc.

Barley Water is made using barley grain which is commonly available as Pearl Barley. You should be able to find Pearl Barley in health food stores and supermarkets. Because it tastes of relatively little, a zesty or tangy flavour such as Lemon or Orange is normally used to liven the taste up. Other fruit juices can also be used and honey is often used to counter balance the tartness of the fruit acids.

Ingredients for Barley Water

Barley water ingredients

  • 1 cup organic Pearl Barley
  • 5 cups water
  • Juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon (to taste or other fruit if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional to taste)
  • Cinnamon stick (optional)
  • Root Ginger (optional)

Servings: 4 cups

1. Put ingredients in a pan

Place the Pearl Barley in a sieve and rinse for a minute or so with plenty of fresh running water.

Place the Pearl Barley, water (and ginger / cinnamon if using) in a pan that can easily accommodate the volume of barley water you are making. Switch the heat on.

Pearl Barley, ginger water and cinnamon stick

Pearl Barley grains in close up

2. Boil it up

Bring the water to the boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes with the lid off. This will reduce the amount of water by about 1/3.

The grains should be softened and cooked.

3. Strain and refine taste

A delicious and healthy glass of home-made Barley WaterPour the barley water mixture through a sieve to seperate the barley grains, ginger and cinnamon from the Barley Water. Add the lemon juice (or other preferred fruit juice) and honey to taste, stir and leave to cool.

Barley water is normally drunk cold and it is best to drink it on the day of making when it is at its freshest. Your home made Barley Water should keep well in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Raw Barley Water

Although the recipe above is probably the most common type of Barley Water recipe you can also make a raw version by placing all the ingredients into a jug that is covered with a breathable lid / kitchen towel. Stir the mixture and leave to stand for 24 hours. Strain the mixture using a fine metallic sieve and serve.

What do I do with the left over Barley?

The left over Barley is useful for a number of other recipes such as:

  • Bulking out and thickening soups and stews with it
  • Combining it with some chopped nuts, seeds, sultanas, raisins and other dried fruits for an alternative to muesli or porridge.This has natural sweeteners and is high in dietary fiber.
  • Add it to salads to add another texture
  • Pop it in your blender and use it as a thickener for your smoothies

Variations on the recipe

You can use the same recipe but just substitute other flavours into the drink instead of the lemon/ginger/cinnamon/honey. Try using fresh Mint leaves, Orange or Lime juice, Maple Syrup and other herbs and spices.

Enjoy the benefits

Now you have learnt how incredibly easy it is to make your own refreshing Barley Water all that is left is to pour yourself a glass and enjoy!

You can drink up to 4 cups a day to help deliver the many health benefits of Barley Water. Your kidneys will love you for it!

For another delicious caffeine free drink that can be drunk hot or cold check out our article on how to make Chrysanthemum tea.