This lovely old refreshing thirst-quencher is adapted from Recipes from an Old Farmhouse by much-loved children’s author Alison Uttley. Miss Uttley was born and brought up in Derbyshire.

Very like lemon barley water, slackers is also wonderfully cooling and soothing for invalids.

Ideally use fine oatmeal for this: the original recipe specifies ‘oatmeal, fine as flour’.

Alternatively, whiz medium oatmeal in a grinder or mini-chopper until fine.

  • 50g fine oatmeal (see above)
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 litres boiling water
  • Mix the oatmeal and sugar together into a paste with a little warm water.

Cover with boiling water, add the lemon slices and stir.

Allow to steep and cool. Strain and chill. Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.