Minted Lemonade

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What could possibly be better on a hot Summer day? I tried many versions of this minted lemonade, a very popular drink at all the chic caf├ęs in Beirut and finally just thought of making of lemony syrup as a starting point. The great advantage is that is can be prepared ahead of time, leaving the quick blitzing with the fresh mint leaves for the last moment. Makes about a quart (4 servings)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300 g.)
2 cups water
3 lemons, sliced (ends cut-off and discarded)
1 cup (packed) mint leaves
Crushed ice, or ice cubes as needed
  1. Wash and dry mint and pluck leaves.
  2. Place sugar, water and lemon slices in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Cool. If not using that day, cover and refrigerate (up to several days).
  3. To make the minted lemonade: Pour into a blender the syrup, 1/3 of the lemon slices, 2 cups of water and the mint. Blend at high speed one minute. Strain the lemonade.
  4. Pour the lemonade over crushed ice or in a cup with ice cubes. Serve with a straw.