In our last post Organic Fruit – Orange Juice and Diabetes I promised to give you some recipes for alternative drinks. I should really make this part of a series called ‘things your granny knew’ as a lot of my recipes come straight from one or other of my Nanas. These were country women who knew how to feed and look after their children on a tight budget. It should also be noted that both of them had been exposed to the work of Adelle Davis in the 1930s (I know, I’m sooo old!) so they were keen to provide their charges with good vitamin rich food.
Later I made these drinks for my family & numerous other children over the years and they were very popular. Orange and Lemon Barely Water is first on the list as it was always my favourite.
Dilute it by at least 50% in the glass and add ice.
Nana’s Orange & Lemon Barley Water
Nothing like the stuff you buy in the shops from that well known brand. This is refreshing and nutritious. Even so, it’s not for every day, but perfect for hot summer days and holidays. It brings back memories of tents in the garden, long summer days and grown ups having something in their drink that wasn’t in mine!
This is a messy job. Clean hands, clean surfaces and an apron are all important. (See it even gives you an excuse to buy a pretty apron and play Domestic Goddess!)
The big old fashioned mixing bowls are great for this job. You can use either a glass or wooden lemon squeezer. Don’t use metal stuff for fruit as it can make it taste funny.
BTW – child labour is perfect for squeezing oranges & lemons. Older children can also be taught to remove the rind.
We’re using elegant tea cups here as a measure. Nana’s was good china but had a broken handle. You could use a mug, I suppose, but a cup is better. Nana didn’t like scales – too much washing up!
- 1/2 cup of organic pot barley
- 10 cups of water
- 2 organic, unwaxed lemons
- 6 organic unwaxed oranges
- A small amount of organic honey to taste
- Simmer the barley in the water for about an hour.
- While it simmers cut the fruit into halves and juice it. This is easily done with an old fashioned lemon squeezer. Give each one a roll on a wooden board first to loosen the juice & start to break it down. Don’t follow any fancy tips about microwaving it first to get more juice. You’ll destroy all that lovely vitamin C!
- Peel the rinds from the fruit. You can use a potato peeler but make sure you just get the rind not the white.
- Add the rinds to the simmering water
- Leave to cool
- Strain the cooled water into a large bowl. Throw away the barley (ouch – if you have any good ideas what to do with it leave a comment! I put out for the birds. Then throw it away!)
- Add the fruit juice
- Taste and add a little (as little as you can) honey
- Pour it in a covered jug
- Keep it in the fridge
A tall cold glass, ice & a slice of lemon.
If serving it in a glass jug you could add slices of fruit or a sprig of fresh tarragon.
Also tastes great from tin mugs if glamping! Decant into screw top bottle and take it on picnics with you but don’t keep it for more than a day without a fridge.
Oh, and if it’s for a special garden party, those grown ups might try it with a dash of gin or vodka (personally I’d add it to a little Ricard!) but then grown-ups are very naughty like that
[Photo Credit CC Brandon C Warren]