1 cup warm tap water
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
3 cups cold water
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves (optional)
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, stir together the warm water and sugar.
Bring to a simmer, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then set aside off the heat to cool.
Once the syrup is cool, pour it into a 2-quart pitcher. Add the lemon juice and cold water, then stir well.
Garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint. Serve over ice.
Puree 2 cups of cleaned and hulled fresh strawberries in a juicer or blender. If using a blender, press the puree through a mesh strainer to remove any large pieces of pulp. Add the strawberry puree to the lemonade recipe above, but reduce the cold water to 2 cups.
LEMON DROP COCKTAIL
From the recipe above, mix the lemon juice and simple syrup with 2 cups of cold water. Add 1 cup of lemon-flavored or other vodka and 1/3 cup of orange liqueur. Mix well. Frost the glasses with a sugar rim and pour over crushed ice. Add a slice of lemon for garnish.