Agua De Cebada Recipe: A Refreshing Mexican Delight

Imagine sipping on a cool, refreshing drink that instantly transports you to the sun-drenched streets of Mexico. Agua De Cebada Recipe, or barley water, is precisely that—a quintessential Mexican beverage that delights the taste buds and quenches thirst like no other. This traditional drink has been cherished for generations, and its simplicity in preparation and delightful flavor make it a favorite amongst young and old alike. In this article, we’ll explore the history of agua de cebada, its nutritional benefits, and, most importantly, how to make this invigorating drink in your own kitchen.

A Brief History of Agua De Cebada

Agua de cebada holds a special place in Mexican culinary heritage, dating back to ancient times when the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica cultivated barley for both food and drink. The Spanish conquest introduced barley to Mexico, where it quickly became a staple crop. Over time, the humble grain found its way into various culinary creations, including this beloved beverage.

Historically, agua de cebada was enjoyed during festive occasions, religious ceremonies, and as a refreshing treat on hot summer days. Its popularity soared, and today, it remains a cherished part of Mexican gastronomy, served in homes, restaurants, and street food stalls across the country.

The Nutritional Benefits of Agua De Cebada

Beyond its delightful taste, agua de cebada offers a range of nutritional benefits. Barley itself is a nutritious grain, packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. When brewed into a refreshing beverage, it retains many of these healthful properties.

One of the key benefits of agua de cebada is its hydrating properties. In Mexico’s warm climate, staying hydrated is essential, and this drink provides a delicious way to replenish fluids. Additionally, barley contains soluble fiber, which can help support digestive health and regulate blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the drink is often sweetened with natural ingredients like sugar or agave syrup, adding a touch of sweetness without artificial additives.

How to Make Agua De Cebada

Now, let’s dive into the process of making agua de cebada in your own kitchen. Fortunately, the recipe is simple, requiring just a few basic ingredients and minimal preparation time.


  • 1 cup of pearl barley
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Ice cubes (for serving)
  • Fresh lime or lemon slices (optional, for garnish)


  1. Prepare the barley: Rinse the pearl barley under cold water to remove any debris. In a large pot, combine the barley and water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Simmer: Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let the barley simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until it is soft and tender.
  3. Sweeten and flavor: Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla extract to the pot, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Allow the mixture to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  4. Strain: Using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the liquid into a large pitcher, discarding the barley and cinnamon sticks.
  5. Chill and serve: Refrigerate the agua de cebada until thoroughly chilled. When ready to serve, pour over ice cubes in glasses and garnish with fresh lime or lemon slices, if desired.
  6. Enjoy: Sip and savor the refreshing taste of homemade agua de cebada, transporting yourself to the vibrant streets of Mexico with every sip.


Agua de cebada encapsulates the essence of Mexican culinary tradition—a simple yet flavorful beverage that brings joy to all who taste it. Whether enjoyed during a festive celebration or as a cooling refreshment on a hot summer day, this delightful drink is sure to become a favorite in your household. With its rich history, nutritional benefits, and easy-to-follow recipe, agua de cebada invites you to experience the vibrant flavors of Mexico from the comfort of your own home.

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FAQs About Agua De Cebada Recipe

1. Can I use other sweeteners instead of sugar in agua de cebada?

  • Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with alternative sweeteners such as honey, agave syrup, or stevia to suit your taste preferences.

2. Can I add other flavors to agua de cebada?

  • Certainly! While traditional agua de cebada is flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, you can get creative by adding citrus zest, fruit juices, or even a hint of mint for a refreshing twist.

3. Is agua de cebada alcoholic?

  • No, agua de cebada is a non-alcoholic beverage made from barley, water, and sweeteners. It’s a family-friendly drink suitable for all ages.

4. How long does agua de cebada last in the refrigerator?

  • When stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, agua de cebada can last for up to 3-4 days. However, it’s best enjoyed fresh for optimal flavor.

5. Can I make agua de cebada ahead of time for a party?

  • Absolutely! Prepare agua de cebada a day or two in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute any settled ingredients.