Herbed Lemonade

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Fresh-squeezed lemonade is a harbinger of summer.  This recipe is sweetened
with a homemade syrup, and fragrant with spearmint or lemon balm and a good
grating of fresh ginger.  If you wish, freeze tiny borage flowers into cubes, and use
them to chill your drink, and play up the herb connection.

1 cup sugar
8 to 10 large sprigs of fresh mint or lemon balm
1 tablespoon shredded fresh ginger ( use the large holes on a box grater )
4 lemons
Thinly sliced lemon, and fresh mint or lemon balm sprigs, for garnish

   Bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil over high heat, stirring just until
syrup comes to a boil.  Add the mint or lemon balm and ginger and reduce to
medium low.  Cook at a slow boil until the syrup is slightly thickened, about 8
minutes.  Strain through a wire strainer into a bowl, pressing lard on the herbs to
extract the flavor.  Cool completely.
   Grate the zest from the lemons, squeeze and strain their juice.  You should have
3/4 cup of juice.  Add to the pitcher, along with the syrup and 3 cups water.  Stir
well.
   Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices and herb sprigs