Lately, I've noticed friends ordering a glass of water with a splash of Lime cordial rather than the usual slice of lime. I had to try this for myself and discovered that it is really quite good. It reminded me of a drink concentrate that my friends in Tauranga gave me over Christmas. This all got me to thinking.....and all that thinking......an abundance of lemons in my fruit bowl.......and a six hour lack of internet service this morning lead to this.........Lemon Barley Water.
Little did I know....Barley Water is the official drink of Wimbledon. While it is usually fruit flavoured......lemon appears to be very common. Now, although I am really happy with the way this turned out....... I am very curious to revisit this experiment with limes.Lemon Barley Cordial
4-5 lemons (enough to make 1 cup of juice)
1/2 cup pot or pearl barley
1 1/3 cup sugar
Soften lemons by microwaving each one for 15 seconds. Take and set aside the zest of 2 lemons. Juice all lemons and set aside the juice which should be about 1 cup of liquid. You may save the zest of the remaining two lemons for another use....it freezes well.
Put barley in a small sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then strain and discard the water. Return the barley to the pot and add 1 1/2 cups boiling water to the strained barley. Add the zest of two lemons to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer and simmer with the lemon zest for 40 minutes. This time strain the barley and keep the strained water. You can discard the barley at this point or set it aside for another use. Return the liquid to the pot and add sugar. Stir to dissolve and boil for just a few minutes. Add the lemon juice and return to a boil. Bottle........an empty wine bottle works well for me. Dilute cordial with water or soda water to taste. I use about 4 to 5 parts water to 1 part syrup. Keeps refrigerated up to 2 weeks.