Barley drink or water – Perfect antidote for the hot hot weather that we were experiencing the past few days in Sydney.

In my household, when the weather is hot or when someone is unwell due to being “heaty”, i.e. sore throat, cough etc. it’s time to brew barley water.  I will cook a big pot of barley drink, and we will continually consume the drink all day long, as it’s believed to have cooling element for the body.

Any leftover barley will not be kept overnight, as some say it is too cooling for the body and will cause tummy ache. So we will discard the remaining barley drink, and cook a fresh pot the following day.

Some people brew this drink with dried winter melon or have it plain and infused with pandan flavour. Alternative, you can add lime, lemon or honey to the drink to enhance the flavour after it is cooked.  This drink can be served hot, warm or cold.

Here is my simple recipe for making barley drink and infused with pandan flavour:


Get barley from your local super market or from your local Asian Grocers. Rinse the barley, add water and brew for about 30-40 minutes on low heat or until the barley is soften.

Barley drink by itself is tasteless, you may want to add some flavour to it. You can add pandan leaves and brew it together for the pandan aroma. If you have access to pandan leaves, use it, otherwise, use the aromatic pandan powder – it is just as good.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 1-2 cups of barley – washed and strained.
  • 2-3 liters of water.
  • 2-4 leaves of pandan or 1 tbsp of pandan powder.
  • Sugar – optional or to taste. (I don’t normally add sugar for my drink).
  • 1/4 lime or lemon, squeeze (optional).


Wash barley until water is clear, drain.

If you have pandan leaves, add Pandan leaves together with the barley and water and bring to the boil.

Using Pandan Powder

If you don’t have pandan leaves, use pandan powder instead.

Add Pandan Powder to water.

The powder should dissolve gradually.

  • Boil the barley water; once it is boiled, lower down to medium heat and continue boiling for another 30 minutes or until the barley has softened.
  • The barley drink can be consumed hot, warm or cold.
  • You can either sieve the barley before drinking or eat the barley together with the drink.

Other things you can add to the drink are lime, lemon, sugar or honey.

Enjoy your barley drink!

Ingredients for Barley Drink

Pearl Barley from your local supermarket or local Asian Grocers


Pandan Powder from Nyonyalicious Online Store

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