My friend Jenny sent me this link the other day about the beauty benefits of barley water, which I later learned has a whole host of other benefits, including everything from kidney and stomach health to infant nutrition. The article on barley water was submitted as a beauty trick out of Ireland, and as the girl in the photo has coloring almost identical to my own, I thought I’d make it. I followed the instructions of the article in boiling half a cup of barley for a little over an hour and then added several oranges and a couple of lemons. The article suggests adding a bit of brown sugar to sweeten, but I chose to add a little bit of honey for my sweetener and it came out fine.
After some finagling with a strainer and a second pot, I scooped the fruit out of the water and then strained the barley out separately. Its a shame to waste the barley, so I saved it to use in making some bread or adding to a soup. I added the fruit back into the mixture and poured it in a pitcher and set it aside to cool. It is very hot when it’s first made. The article explains that you can save the barley water in a container in the fridge and have a cup each day.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what barley water would taste like. And I was surprised at the punch it packs— I’m not sure if it’s due to the addition of all the fruit or if barley on its own is naturally tart, but the barley water tastes almost exactly like grapefruit juice. Which I like! I think it’s better actually, because I have a hard time drinking citric drinks like grapefruit juice and orange juice. So the barley water was a good balance of tart but not overwhelmingly.