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A glass of lemon barley water with uncooked barley and lemons in the background.
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5 from 1 vote

Lemon Barley Water (stovetop/Instant pot)

Make this refreshing lemon barley water with just 4 simple ingredients! This healthy and cooling drink is nutty in flavor and can be enjoyed either chilled or hot. 
Course Drinks
Cuisine Malaysian
Diet Halal, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 80kcal
Author Meesha


  • ¼ cup pearl barley
  • 5 cups water
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • sugar to taste (optional)


  • You can either cook lemon barley water on stove or in an Instant pot.
    On stove - place barley and water in a soup pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, partly covered, until the water turns cloudy, about 30-40 minutes.
    Instant pot - Cook water and barley at high pressure for 20 minutes. Once the timer goes off, quick release the pressure.
  • You can either strain out the boiled barley or leave it in. Stir in sweetener of choice and lemon juice, and it is ready to be served!


Helpful tips
  • If you prefer your barley drink to be more concentrated, reduce the water used to 4 cups. 
  • Use a large enough soup pot for cooking your lemon barley water, as it will bubble and froth up upon boiling. 
  • The boiled barley is edible, and you can serve it along with the water. However, you can choose to strain it out and add them to salads, soups, and stews. 
  • If you want your lemon barley water to be cold, let it cool down completely and refrigerate it for a couple of hours. Add in a few ice cubes before serving. 
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Nutritional facts calculated is just a rough estimate of barley water without sugar. 


Calories: 80kcal