Food & Health

Barley Drink

On a rummage through my fridge this morning, I found a packet of pearl barley and winter melon strip. So, I decided to use these simple ingredients to make a refreshing barley drink for everyone at home.

The weather has been so hot lately; we desperately need some ‘cooling tea’. Barley has mild cooling properties (even young toddler can drink) and excellent detoxification effects. I used to boil barley drink every weekend last year, but somehow the routine stopped because of my own laziness. I wrote about the goodness of barley drink HERE.

Typically, there are two types of barley here – the smaller pearl barley and the larger kernel China barley. I prefer pearl barley as it is easier to boil, with just a quick wash and an hour of simmering. China barley is best when soaked for a few hours to puff up the dried grains prior boiling.

It is very easy to make. Just add one or two cup of pearl barley into 2 litres of water and simmer for an hour or so until the barley are swelled. In the last ten minutes before I turn off the fire, I add winter melon strip or rock sugar to sweeten it. It is even more delicious if I can add in pandan leaves and a tablespoonful of Manuka honey.

If you prefer lemon barley, you can add a few drops of lemon juice and garnish with a slice of lemon. Personally, I prefer the non-lemon version.

Little Edison loves barley drink. He will drink one full bottle later.


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Another type of leaves best to replace Barley will be purple leave… my spouse taught me in Teochew..and he’s a pure Teochew man…. This purple leave obvious is purple color and after boiling is still purple…just add abit of sugar will taste great. good to cure heatiness, sore throat, acne, cure anything that boils you up. I am a cantonese, and never drink this purple leave before till I marry this Teochew man. Infact, this purple is even better than any herbal drink I had when I am young. try it… maybe I should take a picture and recommend it… Read more »


Is it neccesary to boil for an hour? Now.. i’m wondering if the reasons that my barley doesnt really have the “barley taste” is due to short boiling time? I normally boil it for 10-15mins in high heat. Is it wrong?

The reasons that I boil such short time is because, I ever tried boiling it for half an hour. But I find the drinks become very “thick”.