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! 🙂