Using a vegetable peeler, peel zest from lemons. Use a knife to remove any white pith; cut zest as thinly as possible.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add zest; blanch for 1 minute, drain, and rinse under cold water.
In another medium saucepan, combine sugar and 2 cups water; bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar dissolves completely, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest. Simmer until translucent, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let zest cool in syrup. When cool, transfer zest and syrup to an airtight plastic container.
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