Here Are 5 Barley-Based Cocktails You Must Try

barley cocktail

Barley is one of the most commonly used ingredients for making alcohol. From ancient times, the grain has been malted to form the base for various beers and whiskies. The barley grains are steeped, germinated and dried, and then crushed to extract essential sugars that help ferment the liquor. This process is called malting and the crushed barley by-product is called the 'malt'.

But beyond this, the grain is also widely used today to make other alcoholic beverages such as barley vodka, barley gin, and is often infused into other cocktails. The essential component in these barley-infused spirits is the barley syrup. It can be easily made at home by simply boiling barley pearls in water, and then straining the liquid (by separating it from the cooked barley grains). This barley water is then boiled again with some sugar and a tiny amount of lime juice until it thickens to a syrupy consistency. This barley-infused syrup can then be used for making any barley cocktails of your choice.

Here are five barley-based cocktails that make for great examples of how this ancient grain has been utilised in modern times to create very contemporary libations.

1. Barley Mojito

Possibly the easiest of cocktails to conjure up for your friends and guests, Barley Mojito is made by infusing barley into rum. It has that earthy sweetness of barley and the inherent depth of rum, and the resulting combination is rather a sweet spot.

Ingredients:

60 ml barley-infused rum
30 ml fresh lime juice
30 ml simple syrup
3 Fresh mint leaves
15 ml Soda water
Ice cubes, as required

Method:

Mix the lime juice with simple syrup and muddle in some mint leaves. To this, add barley-infused rum. Top this with some soda water and ice and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon wedge if you want.

2. Barley Ginger Fizz

Another simple cocktail that can just be a wonderful addition to your cocktail menu for any house party. The kick of ginger simply elevated the barley-infused gin, which is the base of this cocktail.

Ingredients:

60 ml barley-infused gin
10 ml ginger juice
45 ml lemon juice
15 ml  Soda water
Ice cubes, as required

Method:

Mix the barley-infused gin with ginger juice and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a shaker, add some ice and mix properly. Strain it into a highball glass filled with more ice and pour in some soda water. Garnish with some mint, or candied ginger if you want.

3. Barley Berry Blast

berry barley

What are cocktails if there are no provisions for some berry magic? This one is a banger of a cocktail, a perfect afternoon drink for one of those hot, lazy afternoons when you need that extra punch of freshness.

Ingredients:

45 ml barley vodka
15 ml elderflower liqueur or elderflower syrup
30 ml pureed berries
15 ml lemon juice
Ice cubes, as required

Method:

In a shaker, add the barley vodka with elderflower liqueur, pureed berries (you can use mulberries, blueberries, strawberries, or any berry of your choice) and lemon juice. Add a good amount of ice cubes into it and shake well. Strain the mixture into a martini glass and garnish with some ice and fresh berries of your liking.

4. Barley Sunrise

This cocktail blends the kick of a tequila with the sweetness of barley. Although named Sunrise, this cocktail makes for a great sundowner as well. A perfect fit for your birthday bash where you can make batches of the drink and savour it with your loved ones.

Ingredients:

45 ml barley-infused tequila
90 ml orange juice
15 ml grenadine
Ice cubes

Method: 

In a shaker, combine barley-infused tequila with orange juice and plenty of ice. Strain into a highball glass, and then slowly pour grenadine over the back of a spoon to create layers. Garnish with an orange slice.

5. Barley Spiced Apple Punch

barley apple

A wonderful addition to the festive fervour, this cocktail is great for holiday parties. Any single malt whisky would make for a great representative of our barley team in this list of cocktails so far. There are single-malt whiskies which are solely made of malted barley devoid of any blends, and they bear that inherent sweetness of barley malt which gives it a distinct flavour.

Ingredients:

60 ml Single malt barley whisky
30 ml apple cider
15 ml cinnamon syrup
5 ml honey
Dash of bitters
Ice cubes

Method:

In a shaker, mix the whisky with apple cider, cinnamon syrup, honey and bitters with lots of ice. Strain the mixture in an Old Fashioned glass and top it with some more ice. Garnish with some spiced apple slices.