Like an adult lemon barley cordial, this cocktail adds candied winter melon, a sweet, cucumber-like addition to make it even more refreshing.
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 litre water
- 5 pieces candied winter melon (see tip)
- 320 g sugar (or more to taste)
- 45 ml Australian whisky (we used Nant Sherry Wood in this recipe)
- 5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice
- ice cubes
- 1 lemon, zest to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time: 1 hour
1. For the barley water: bring pearl barley, water and candied melon to the boil, leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Add sugar, stirring until it is all dissolved in the liquid, and simmer for another 10–15 minutes. Strain (discard the pearly barley) and set aside to cool.
2. To make the lemon zest garnish, cut fine strips off the lemon, carefully cut off any pith and trim the edges, then twist.
3. To make the barley tonic, pour the whisky into the glass, topping up with barley water and lemon juice, add ice cubes, stir and garnish with lemon zest to serve.
• Look for candied winter melon in Asian grocery stores; it’s usually found in the snack aisle, next to preserved prunes, toasted seeds and candy.