- 2/3 cup sugar
- peel from 2 lemons (removed with a vegetable peeler)
- 2 cups lemon juice (from 10 to 12 lemons), plus 1 lemon, sliced
- gin, elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain), or vodka, for serving (optional)
- Bring the sugar and ⅔ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the lemon peel. Let cool; discard the peel.
- Combine the lemon syrup, lemon juice, sliced lemon, and 2 cups cold water in a large pitcher. Add 2 cups ice; stir until the ice is melted. (This will quickly chill and dilute the lemonade.)
- Serve over ice and top with gin, St. Germain (or another elderflower liqueur), or vodka, if desired.