Drinking to health

Back at home whenever we have a sore-throat or slight fever, the moms would boil us a big pot and make us this Barley drink (affectionately known as ‘Barley water’ in our books).

The Man complained that his throat ached a little after the Indian luncheon that we had.  Well, what do you expect with crazed Singaporeans craving for curry?  We went ballistic with the free-flow of curry and had loads of Papadums at the fixed price buffet. The throats kinda paid the price thereafter.

So today, decided to make us some cooling and refreshing Barley drink to sooth the throats.  The weather’s been rather erratic as well, hot on some days and then down-right chilly or even wet the next days.  So better to keep our health in check where possible with this ‘cooling drink’.

I didn’t have any pandan leaves on hand to make this drink the traditional way that mom would have done.  So, I improvised again and the results were pretty close.

Refreshing Barley Drink with Lemon


  • 200g of fine pearl raw barley, washed
  • 2 litres of water
  • 1/2 packet of winter melon sugar “sticks” 冬瓜糖
  • Rock sugar (optional)
  • Lemon slices (optional)


  1. Boil the water and add the washed barley and winter melon to the boiling water.  Under low heat, let barley and the winter melon simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour.  Add rock sugar to drink if you desire it to be sweeter.
  2. Drain and discard at least half of the barley so that it doesn’t ‘cloud’ up the drink.
  3. Note that you can eat the winter melon for the crunchy sweet taste as it will not dissolve.

Drink up and enjoy this cooling treat that can be served warm or chilled and with a slice of lemon in it.

7 thoughts on “Drinking to health

    • Lady J says:

      Yeah me too… I’m trying to drink more water.. my skin has been pretty bad so I need to detox pretty badly. 🙂

  1. baobabs says:

    love this drink!! grew up drinking this as my mother would boil it with rock sugar and pandan leaves. It’s suppose to cool you down based on the traditional chinese medicine’s concept of yin/yang, hot and cold foods. @bookjunkie we also had lemon barley in school but always too sweet!

    • Lady J says:

      Wow..thanks baobabs for sharing more infor..I wished I had pandan leaves here but they are quite expensive to buy. So the winter melon sugar sticks will suffice for now 😉

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