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Cooking + Entertaining

Barley water: the recipe for a sweet and refreshing drink

Barley water: the recipe for a sweet and refreshing drink


L’barley it’s a Sweet drink made with sweet and bitter almonds, water and sugar, ideal to serve very cold during theestate. Often confused with almond milk, it is a drink of ancestral origin, once prepared with barley substitutes, diluted with water and sweetened with sugar.

The name barley comes from the Latin horse’s head, meaning “made from barley”, an ingredient now replaced by almonds. Excellent to take as a snack, to disconnect and replenish the liquids lost due to the summer heat, it can be added to coffeemixed with various syrups or used for the preparation of cocktails with a tropical flavor: among the most famous we find the mai tai, made with rum, curaçao, barley water and lime juice.

The home version, compared to ready-to-use and industrial, is a completely different thing in terms of the quality of the raw materials used and, inevitably, the final taste. Easy to prepare, just crush the almonds, soaked in cold water overnight, with a mortar, then collect the mash obtained on a clean kitchen towel and then wring it out well.

The liquid from the almonds is transferred to a saucepan with the sugar, cooked for about 15 minutes and finally poured into the appropriate glass bottles. Delicious and refreshing, to make it even more aromatic, barley water can also be flavored with cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom powder. With the leftover puree, however, it is possible to package aromatic cookies and fluffy homemade cakes.

Find out how to prepare barley water by following the step-by-step procedure and tips. Also try the strawberry lemonade and homemade lemon syrup.

How to prepare barley water

The night before, soak the sweet and bitter almonds in cold water. 1.

After this time, drain them well, dry them with absorbent kitchen paper and collect them in a mortar. 2.

Reduce the almonds to pulp, mashing them vigorously. 3.

Mix the water with the almond porridge. 4 and mix well.

Transfer the mixture to a clean, loose kitchen towel. 5.

Squeeze well, so that the liquid comes out, and collect it in a saucepan 6. Repeat the operation if necessary.

add sugar 7.

Boil, over low heat, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 8.

Let the horchata cool completely. 9.

Pour the barley water into a bottle. 10 and let cool in the fridge.

Your barley water is ready to serve very cold eleven.


To speed up the operation, you can crush the almonds in a kitchen mixer instead of working them with mortar.

For the preparation of orgeat you can also use only sweet almonds and flavor the drink with a pinch of cinnamon powder, a few drops of vanilla or orange blossom extract – it will be even more fragrant.

You can use the leftover almond puree to make a slushie: just add some crushed ice; you can incorporate it into a shortcrust pastry, to make biscuits or a cake, or into the dough for a carrot cake.


You can keep the barley water in the fridge, in a glass bottle with an airtight stopper 3-4 days: always serve very cold, possibly with the addition of ice.

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