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Barley water facts for kids

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Barley water
Agua de Cebada-alicante.jpg
Spanish Barley water "Agua de cebada"
Ingredients barley

Barley water is a traditional drink consumed in various parts of the world. It is made by boiling barley grains in water, then (usually) straining to remove the grains, and possibly adding other ingredients, for example sugar.


  • Kykeon (Gr. κυκεών - kykeōn, from κυκάω, "to stir, to mix") was an ancient Greek drink made mainly of water, barley and naturally occurring substances. It was used at the climax of the Eleusinian Mysteries to break a sacred fast, but it was also a favourite drink of Greek peasants.
  • Agua de cebada, in Spanish speaking countries, is made with malted barley, sugar and lemon.
  • The British version is made by boiling washed pearl barley, straining, and adding fruit juice and sugar to taste. The fruit rind may also be boiled with the barley. It is commonly associated with the summer season and served at The Championships, Wimbledon.
  • East Asian and Southeast Asian versions are typically not strained and may be consumed hot or cold, with or without lime. These kinds of barley water generally include the strained grain within the drink. Hot barley water is often served with a spoon and cold barley water with a straw so that the soft-boiled grains can be eaten.
  • Roasted barley tea is also a popular East Asian drink. The roasted barley is strained and removed before drinking.
  • It is also a popular drink among Punjabi peasants. It is called sattu in Punjabi.

Barley water has been used as a first baby food, before feeding with barley mush. It is also used as a home treatment that allegedly cures cystitis.

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