Barley Drink

Barley Drink

Barley Drink or Barley water is a beverage made out of boiled barley flavoured with lemon and sugar.  A traditional British soft drink which is commonly home-made and also commercially available with different flavours to choose from.

This practice of boiling grain in water has been existing since the ancient times and that was evident with this recipe.  Initially called as Kykeon, it was consumed to break sacred fast during the Eleusinian Mysteries.  Another drink similar to this one called Atholl Brose made out of oatmeal and honey also existed during the early days.

For this recipe we will be adding some Asian twist and this is how they do it in Malaysia, with an added twist of pandan /screwpine leaves and candied wintermelon.

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Barley Drink

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: Malaysian


Barley Drink or Barley water is a beverage made out of boiled barley flavoured with lemon and sugar. A traditional British soft drink which is commonly home-made and also commercially available with different flavours to choose from.



  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup candied wintermelon
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 strips pandan leaves, tied into a knot
  • lemon slices


  1. In a pot add barley, pandan leaves and water.  Bring it to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until barley is soft.
  2. Add sugar and candied wintermelon, simmer for 15 more minutes.
  3. Discard pandan and candied wintermelon then serve with slice of lemon, enjoy cold, warm or hot.



22 Responses

  1. kiwidutch says:

    I love the lemon and barley we can get in NZ but it’s not available here in the Netherlands. It never occurred to me that I might be able to make it myself at home.
    Thanks for an excellent idea! I’m going to give it a go 🙂

  2. Jenny says:

    that looks so refreshing – and healthy too! lovely.

  3. Tessa says:

    Very interesting! I have not seen this before… Beautiful photograph!

  4. Kristy says:

    This is just fascinating! My doctor revommended something very similar for my dry skin. Your version sounds much more appetizing. I think I’ll give it a shot!

  5. Michelle says:

    How interesting! I guess it’s not so far from Mexican horchata, but looks so exotic.

  6. It is so interesting- what does it taste like?

  7. it looks so healthy and refreshing… a glass of this is what i need. STL has been under the wrath of a scorching sun.. yep it’s way too hot here … will love a glass of barley drink!

  8. mjskit says:

    I’ve never seen any drink like this! It looks delicious in your picture and sounds very, very interesting! One of those drinks I just have to try out of curiosity. Thanks for sharing this. It’s totally new to me!

  9. machisan says:

    i love barley..

  10. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I drink barley tea (we call it Mugi Cha) everyday because it has no caffeine. I would love to try this one.

  11. Oooh pandanus! Even though we used to eat lots of cooked barley at home, I’ve never actually heard of drinking the water! Gorgeous shot!

  12. Hi Raymund, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your kind words. Barley water is one of my favourite beverages and something my grandmother used to prepare (also with pandan) very often when I was growing up. It’s especially welcome in our tropical climate and is very good for stubborn fevers.Btw I love your presentation and picture composition 🙂

  13. Never heard of this drink before but I’m totally giving it a try.

  14. sybaritica says:

    I’ve only made it with lemon juice before. I like your recipe. I can’t get pandan leaves but I do have some bottled essence that might work 🙂

  15. I’ve never heard of this! Totally fascinated and would love to try it 🙂

  16. That drink is totally new to me and I am really curious about it.
    I need to get soem barley and to give this a try really soon.
    Thank you for the inspiration

  17. Guia Obsum says:

    The first time I tried drinking barley was in Wee Nam Kee. I was surprised at the silky, velvety feel of it, though I don’t remember it having pandan and lemon. I think the pandan will add a lovelier flavor. 🙂

  18. I’ve only tried Korean barley tea. This sounds very interesting–and what beautiful styling!

  19. Mk says:

    I loved the barley drink from Wee Nam Kee, I would love to try this! Where do you buy barley though? I can’t find any in our local grocery store. :

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