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Lemon Barley Water

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Lemon Barley Water

Lemon Barley Water

S. Wongkaew

Lemon Barley water is an old fashioned tonic that was given to the weak as an alternative source of nourishment.

As a child my mother would be served breakfast in bed when she was under the weather. On her breakfast tray, would be a vase with a fresh rose in it, a boiled egg and vegemite toast and a bottle of lemon barley water to help buoy her spirits.

Some people use sugar in their recipes however I like to use honey for a more intense flavor. If you have any ginger handy, finely grate about 1 tablespoon of it and boil it with the barley for a gingery kick.


  • 3/4 cup of pearl barley
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 6 cups of water


  1. Place the barley in a sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clear.
  2. Place barley in a saucepan with grated lemon zest and 6 cups of water.
  3. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Once boiling, simmer for 10 minutes then strain mixture into a heatproof bowl. Discard the barley.
  4. Add honey to bowl and stir to dissolve. Stir in lemon juice and then let mixture cool to room temperature.
  5. Pour into bottles and refrigerate until chilled.
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