Lemon Barley Water
Lovely Old Fashioned Thirst Quencher

Thirst quenching at any time of year but especially during the summer months and a big favourite at Wimbledon, lemon barley is also ideal for invalids as it’s gently nutritious as well as hydrating.

For a stronger, zestier flavour, double the amount of lemon. The cooked barley can be used in other recipes.

(Watch this space: I’m working on a lemon barley milk pudding and a salad!)

275g pearl barley (or an average mugful)

1 large firm lemon, washed and lightly scrubbed

2 litres cold water

1 rounded tablespoon (30g) golden caster sugar, plus extra as needed

Rinse the barley thoroughly and it put into a pan with the water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the barley is soft: skim away any scum that appears.

Drain the hot liquid into a roomy jug.

Pare thin strips of yellow zest from the lemon avoiding the bitter white pith. Add it to the hot liquid, together with the strained juice from the lemon and the sugar.

Stir well and allow the liquid to steep and cool.

Remove the lemon zest and add a little more sugar if necessary.

Chill until needed. Keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days.