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Lemon Barley Water Recipe, Summer Refreshing Soft Drinks

Lemon Barley Water Recipe, Summer Refreshing Soft Drinks

Lemonade yes, barley water no.
When I was a child, and even afterward.

Until I decided to correct the traditional taste of barley water.
Instead of an almond drink, I prefer the fresher taste of lemon.

Lemon Barley Water, Summer Drinks And Old-Fashioned Flavors

A strange reconciliation.

The last barley soft drink I drank was in Plaza Mayor in Madrid on one of the strangest nights of my life.

I know it’s audacious to pair a bottle of lemon barley syrup, which evokes light summer thoughts with a tragic event.

Forgive this blogger because I don’t know how to control memories that are beginning, perhaps, to be too numerous due to the passing years.

If you don’t feel like reading, skip the noir moment and scroll down to the recipe.

Lemon Barley Syrup, Summer Drinks And Old-Fashioned Flavors

Scene 1, the preamble.

I’m on vacation and I’m in my 20s. Friends at the university tell me that if I go to Madrid I have to look for student houses that are vacant in the summer and that the owners rent to tourists in the summer.

According to the principle that regulates the homes of university students, everyone has his or her own room and shares common areas such as kitchen and bathroom (rarely private).

At that age, and living in the same way in Bologna, the idea of the shared house is perfect. In fact, I’ve used that formula on other occasions too. But if I tell you about Edinburgh and Brendon, the Scotsman in kilt, we’ll pass the English Channel and instead we have to stay on the continent.

Scene 2, the background.

The flat is beautiful. Old wooden fishbone floors, large doors and windows.

The apartment is on Plaza Mayor and from the window of my room looking out onto the narrow alleyways behind the square, I often look out to watch life go by from morning until late at night, when the last tourist leaves the scene and the silence falls.

I can almost touch the building opposite and feel, as well as see, the life of its inhabitants.

It’s almost sunset and I’m lying on the bed while I devour the pages that are missing at the end of the book. In Madrid life starts late, there’s time to prepare myself.

Scene 3, the fact.

Suddenly there was an angry fight. The voices are of a man and a woman and they are so close that they seem to be in the room with me. In fact, they’re just a few steps away, in the building across the street. But one floor down. I don’t see them and I feel a little guilty being so close but concealed. I don’t know whether to get up and close the window, revealing myself. Or leave the room. I just lie there, listening. My heart’s beating fast.

I was already studying Spanish at the time, but those violently screamed words shake me up and I often lose my train of thought.

Then the sudden silence and that noise.

I get up and run to the window while I’m already crying. I get up almost falling and I already know what happened because certain sounds are unmistakable. The whistle of the train, the bones breaking. She’s on the ground, fallen or pushed I’ll never know, broken and unequivocally dead.

Then I am dragged away almost by force and taken out into the heat and confusion of a Plaza Mayor dripping with life. I ask for a barley. The full glass of the opalescent white liquid is on the coffee table. Around it dark and lots of people I can’t see.


Lemon Barley Water Recipe, Summer Refreshing Soft Drinks

Lemon Barley Water.

To make peace with the sweet taste of barley, I decided to make it homemade, the flavor of industrial ones is very strong, and add the taste of lemon that mitigates the sweetness of almond and makes the color more like lemonade. My barley is fresh and does not need to be diluted with water, although you can do it naturally.

Barley is prepared with bitter and sweet almonds, it has an aromatic but delicate taste. Almond milk is not used, as many people believe, almonds are in fact just an aroma to be added to the cooking water of the barley.

Homemade barley water without the addition of additives and almond milk, hardly becomes milk-white, if anything it is more transparent than milk.

It’s a old-style recipe, but the procedure for making it’s really simple.

You need only cooking water of the barley and little else: almonds, lemon and sweetener, I didn’t use sugar.

You can serve this summer drink together with iced tea and lemonade, pizzas and biscuits for a tasty summer merenda. Or at cocktail hour for the friend who doesn’t drink alcohol. Finally, put a couple of bottles in the picnic basket and take it with you, perhaps at the sea. Don’t forget some sandwiches.

Buona cucina, Monica


Food Tips.

  • If you don’t have a narrow mesh sieve, use two superimposed sieve sieve sticks.
  • Instead of maple syrup, you can use honey.

Lemon Barley Water Recipe

For about a liter of barley water

200 g pearl barley
1.1 l of water
50 g peeled almonds, sweet
1 organic lemon, juice and grated zest
1 large spoonful of maple syrup


Wash the barley and cook in unsalted water over medium heat for about half an hour.

Drain the barley without throwing water.

Put the barley aside for other preparations and let the cooking water cool.

When it is warm, add the finely chopped almonds, lemon zest and juice and the sweetener.

Close the bottle and let it rest for a night, even outside the fridge.

After the rest, shake the bottle and filter with a narrow mesh strainer, and if necessary filter twice.

Store barley syrup in the fridge.

Below the photos, find a couple of recipes to use barley.

Homemade Soft Drinks

Barley Recipes.

Season the barley with no-garlic basil pesto, finely chopped green olives and mozzarella and make everything more creamy with a drizzle of olive oil if needed. It’s a simple and delicious salad.

Barley seasoned with pesto is perfect for stuffing tomatoes called “cuore di bue”. Empty tomatoes and put the pulp to drain for a few minutes and mix tomatoes pulp with basil pesto.

With pearl barley I also make baked croquettes. I mix barley with basil pesto, some breadcrumbs, 1 or 2 grated parmigiano tablespoons and a yolk (even if I haven’t add the egg and my croquettes make crumbles anyway they remain beautiful to see and especially good). Before closing the croquette, I put a little piece of mozzarella into the heart of the croquette like an arancino. Then I cook in a preheated oven (200 degrees, ventilated oven) for 10-15 minutes, the time to brown the croquettes.

A good alternative to pearl barley is spelt. On the blog you can find the recipes of the Spelt Salad with Figs and Grapes from my Summer Repertoire.

Stuffed tomatoes with orzo salad

Veggie orzo croquettes



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