For the Ginger Simple Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
For the Lemonade:
2 cups water
3 black tea bags, preferably English breakfast tea
1-1/3 cups Ginger Simple Syrup, recipe follows
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, from 3 to 4 lemons
1 cup sparkling water or club soda, chilled
2 cups ice
Lemon slices, for garnish, optional
1. Make the Ginger Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, water and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea bags. Stir and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add the Ginger Simple Syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water.
3. Put the ice in a large pitcher. Pour the lemonade mixture over the ice. Garnish with lemon slices and serve.