Barley Water

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
Recipe by Halcyon Eve

From "To Set Before a Queen"--a cookbook written by a former cook for Princess Elizabeth's household (Queen Elizabeth before she was crowned, that is). It's an interesting cookbook, with some good recipes and some interesting anecdotes. She claims that the royal family were all "addicted" to this recipe. She also says that this is the recipe she was given to use at Clarence House. I've tried it and like it quite well myself. Posting here as it's an older cookbook and I don't want to lose the recipe. Since the rinds are used, it's best if you can find organic fruits without oils or waxes or chemicals on the rinds. Failing that, be sure to clean them very well--I soak them in vinegar water, then rinse them under very hot water. I can't recall the amount you get at the end, so I am estimating. Times don't include cooling time.

Top Review by Blue Peacock

I am a huge advocate of barley water and think that it is helpful for so many things, particularly for swelling of the feet during pregnancy. My mom drinks it on a regular basis to help her with her arthritis. I have never had it with orange or lemon but am sure that it will be tasty and plan to try it soon. Thank you for sharing this recipe.


  1. Place barley in a large saucepan. Pour boiling water over and simmer over low heat, covered, for about 1 hour.
  2. Squeeze juice from fruit, reserving rinds.
  3. Strain water from cooking the barley into a large bowl. Add the rinds of 1 lemon and 3 oranges. Add sugar. Allow to sit until completely cooled.
  4. Strain liquid again to remove rinds. Add juices. Transfer to a jug or bottle and store in refrigerator.

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