Lemon Barley Drink

If you’ve been following my blog, you would notice that I do not have a single recipe for beverage. Why? There is simply nothing that would deter my appetite when it comes to eating. However, I must say I’m not a big drinker.

Lemon Barley Water Recipe

Here are the drinks that I tend to have on a regular basis:

Coffee – nay
Tea – nay
Alcohol – nay
Mocktail – nay
Pop – nay
Fruit juice – nay
Water – YAY!

So as you can see, my diet pretty much consists solely of:

  1. any food you can possibly imagine in the world AND
  2. water.

True story..

Barley Soup Singapore

However, there is one exception…. And that my friends, is Lemon Barley Drink. Whenever this drink was made available, I would never fail to order it. Barley is a very versatile grain with many uses. These uses include but are not limited to – brewing beer, making soups and stew, making bread and even feeding animal livestock!

In Southeast Asia, it’s not very commonly used as a grain replacement for our staple (rice), nor is it commonly used in our hot stews or salads. Barley in Singapore is usually made into cold desserts or drinks! And its recipe is unbelievably simple!

Barley Drink Warm

My grandma in Indonesia makes really good hot barley dessert / drink for the family on a regular basis. Whenever I visit Indonesia, she’d be sure to make a bigger pot, because she knows that I would be going for seconds… or thirds!

Lemon Barley Drink

Recipe from Grandma
  • 200g of pearl barley
  • 3 litres of boiling water
  • 70g of rock sugar
  • 5 pandan leaves, tied into knots
  • juice from half a lemon
  1. Rinse the uncooked pearl barley.
  2. In a deep pot, boil 2 litres of water.
  3. Add barley grains, rock sugar and pandan leaves and continue boiling on high heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Switch to medium heat and cook for about 1-2 hours. Your water will start to evaporate. Refill when too much evaporation takes place.
  5. Lastly add in juice from half a lemon and stir.

How to cook Barley recipe


  1. If you want the barley to cook faster, you can soak it overnight in cold water beforehand too.
  2. It is possible to cook with a slow-cooker
  3. You can choose to add more rock sugar if you want a sweeter drink. However, do keep in mind that the drink will taste sweeter once it cools. Some may prefer having their barley completely cooled and chilled, but I love having my barley drink when it’s nice and warm.

Singapore Barley recipe

Hope you guys try this, especially for those whose never had sweet barley drinks! 🙂


24 Comments Add yours

  1. Gorgeous and so irredescent. It reminds me of a healthier version of my other faves, bubble tea!

  2. perfectskinny says:

    yummy it looks so good just look for healthy recipes like yours. Maybe you also want my new blog perfectskinny.wordpress.com 🙂

  3. I love to drink barley too, healthy and inexpensive!

  4. Fresh looking drink!

  5. Joanne says:

    I tried barley tea recently and was surprised by how much I liked it! This sounds great!

  6. Daniela says:

    That’s a great looking, healthy drink I must try.
    Thanks for sharing this interesting recipe!

  7. Raymund says:

    This reminds me so much of Malaysia

  8. BC says:

    Looking bro Sam Sam!

  9. Norma Chang says:

    A healthy drink that is so easy to make.

  10. Juliana says:

    What a nice and light drink…I should give this a try.
    Hope you are having a great week Sammie 😀

  11. I do love barley, but haven’t had this lemon barley drink! If you say it’s wonderful, I’m betting I’ll enjoy it! So nice to see a post from you 🙂

  12. Zoe says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I came to know about you at Guru Uru’s blog. Nice to know you.

    Like your blog at FB! Cheers!


  13. I have a friend like you who only drinks water (and champagne) and she says that she’d rather use her calories for food! I bet I could persuade her to try this though!

  14. I love barley and i love lemon, so I bet I’d love this drink – it sounds awesome!

  15. I love the look and sound of this. I just edited a video for something similar but different. I bet I would love this!

  16. hotlyspiced says:

    You must be very healthy seeing as you aren’t partaking in a lot of beverages we all should be cutting back on. I love the look of your lemon barley water – it’s also very good for you! xx

  17. I did not know this was so easy to make! I am going to have to try this as it was my childhood favourite 🙂

  18. It is almost like a sweet dessert soup but only a little more refreshing with a tad bit of lemon. Delightful and refreshing. I am the same way. There is usually nothing that quenches my thirst like water but I might make an exception for your lemon barley drink.

  19. Carolyn Jung says:

    Wow, never had barley in a drink like this. Usually, I use it in soups or cook it risotto-style. I must say the sweet, citrusy flavor appeals to me. This would be great for an afternoon pick-me-up on a summer day.

  20. refreshing drink…pandan will work magic in this lovely and soothing refreshment 🙂

  21. Hi Sam,
    I love barley and haven’t seen a drink like this before. Looks so light and gorgeous!

  22. I learned something new! I’ve never had barley like this. Looks so refreshing, Sam!

  23. This totally made my day and reminds me of my childhood where mom made gallons of barley drink in the summer 🙂


  24. thehungrymum says:

    sounds interesting! Haven’t come across this drink before but I love lemon 🙂

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