Barley water is an old-fashioned English drink for summertime, and it is surprisingly refreshing. It will keep for a week in the refrigerator once it's cooled, and you can always throw in a splash of your favorite clear liquor if you just can't stand to go boozeless. Whip up a batch or two for your July 4th picnic and enjoy the irony.
Basic Barley Water
Makes about 1.5 quarts
1 cup pearled barley, rinsed and sorted
2 quarts water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
scant 1/4 cup honey
Combine the barley and water in a medium sauce pan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until barley is tender, about 20 minutes. Strain out the barley (keep it, for goodness' sake--I have a salad recipe coming for that on Friday) and whisk the honey and lemon juice into the cooking liquid. Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator before drinking.
All of these additions can just be added to the final product while it's still hot...
- 2 sprigs of fresh mint + a few fresh lavender flowers
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 teaspoon rose water + 4 cardamom pods
- 6 thin slices of cucumber and 1 thick lemon slice