Finely grate peel from lemon and put into a saucepan. Squeeze juice from lemon and reserve. Add sugar and water to lemon peel and heat gently, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Bring to a boil and boil until syrup turns a light caramel color. Remove from heat and hold pan handle with a cloth as mixture will splatter. Stir in lemon and orange juices. Heat gently, stirring to dissolve caramel.
Stir in peppercorns and boil 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened and syrupy. Allow to cool 2 minutes, then spoon hot syrup over strawberries. Garnish with mint, if desired, and serve at once with half-and-half, if desired.