Welcome guests to your reception with refreshing drinks that are tagged with their table numbers.
Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Let stand until completely cool.
In a 2 1/2-quart pitcher, stir remaining 4 cups water, the syrup, lemon juice, and mint. Refrigerate. To serve, pour into bottles and garnish with mint leaves.
The chilled mint lemonade shown here is delicious for spring and summer occasions. In the cooler months, serve apple cider or hot cocoa in mugs.