Cutting a slit in a fresh chile without splitting it open infuses this lemony syrup with a little heat. If you want a really spicy syrup, you can split the whole chile in half or slice it.
Scrub the lemons well under warm water. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest in strips directly over a small saucepan, letting them drop into the pan. Try to not peel off the white pith beneath the yellow layer. Squeeze ½ cup juice from the lemons and add to the zest, along with the sugar.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the chile. Let cool to room temperature.
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