Barley Lemonade

Adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown


 8 c.  water

1 c.  hulled barley

 2  lemons

 ¼ c. honey 

 Small handful fresh mint leaves or thyme sprigs

Directions: Combine water and barley in a large pot. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove lid of pot and let barley mixture cool for 15 minutes.

While barley cools, peel both lemons, making sure that the peel is free of the pith (the white material under the peel and immediately on top of the lemon). The easiest way to do this is with a potato peeler.

Place peel into a 2 quart glass jar or pitcher. Juice both lemons and add to jar or pitcher; set aside.

In a large sieve set over a large bowl, carefully pour reserved barley and liquid into sieve, letting all of the liquid drain out.  Transfer barley to a large bowl and reserve for use in barley salad recipe below (or toss it with olive oil and lemon juice, and season with salt, pepper and your favorite fresh herbs). 

Pour barley water into prepared glass jar or pitcher. Add honey, and mint or thyme, and stir with a wooden spoon until honey completely dissolves. Pour lemonade over ice-filled glasses or refrigerate covered for up to a week.

Makes about 2 quarts.