Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small pan. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Combine the remaining water and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Add the sugar mixture. If you like a tart lemonade, add half the sugar mixture. Taste. Add more as needed. Serve and enjoy.
For a tart lemonade, add half the sugar syrup and taste. Add more sugar syrup until you reach the sweetness you enjoy. Store the leftover syrup in the refrigerator for up to one month. Use it for another batch of lemonade or add it to iced coffee, iced tea, or cocktails.