The Best Lemonade

from Hoppin' John's Charleston, Beaufort & Savannah

If you've had better lemonade, please send me the recipe! Make this at least an hour before your guests arrive, then garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

6 juicy lemons
1 cup sugar
6 cups water
fresh mint sprigs

Scrub the lemons with a little soapy water to remove any oil or wax coatings. Rinse them well. Cut the lemons in half and put them in a 2-quart heat-resistant pitcher. Add the cup of sugar.

Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the lemons, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the lemons are cool enough to handle (30 or 40 minutes), squeeze the juice out of them into the pitcher. Discard the lemons. Refrigerate until use.

Pour the lemonade into iced glasses, garnishing with sprigs of mint.

Serves 8.