1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup lemon juice (from 5 lemons)
3 cups cold water
3 family-size black tea bags
8 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
For the lemonade:
Stir together 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Remove the sugar syrup from the heat, pour into a shallow container, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Halve and juice 5 lemons, then pour the juice through a sieve to catch any seeds.
Pour the cooled syrup into a large jug. Add the lemon juice and 3 cups of cold water. Stir until well mixed.
For the tea:
Boil the water in a kettle.
Secure the strings of the three tea bags to the edge of a large pitcher with a clothespin for easy removal.
Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and let them steep for 5-8 minutes, depending on how strong you like the tea. Remove tea bags and discard. Stir 2 cups of sugar into the hot tea if you’re using the tea right away; use 1 cup if you’re refrigerating the tea to use later. Skip the sugar altogether if you want unsweet tea.
Fill an 16-ounce highball glass almost halfway with ice (roughly 8 large ice cubes).
Pour in the hot sweet tea until the glass is 3/4 full (about 8 ounces), then pour the lemonade on top (about 4 ounces). Stir gently with a long-handled spoon, then garnish with a half of a lemon slice and a mint leaf on the rim.