Seriously, making Sous Vide Limoncello couldn't be easier. You also only need 4 ingredients. AND it's delicious!
And sure, it's delicious when made the traditional way, too. But sometimes we want our limoncello and we want it now. Or, like 2 hours from now.
Why make limoncello using sous vide?
Using conventional limoncello preparation methods, you would allow the lemon zest to infuse the vodka for weeks or months. Months! Who has time for that?
However, making limoncello using your sous vide means that it will come together SO much more quickly. We're talking in like a little more than two hours. You can't beat that.
What ingredients go into limoncello?
You only need 4 ingredients to make sweet, delicious limoncello. They are:
- Lemon zest: It's a lot of lemon zest. Make sure to only remove the yellow zest, and avoid the white pith, which is bitter.
- Vodka: You don't have to go all out here. No need to pick up a bottle of Belvedere or anything. But make sure that you use a decent vodka; something that you wouldn't mind using in a mixed drink.
- Water: Plain old water!
- Sugar: White granulated sugar will do the trick.
Making homemade limoncello using your sous vide is so easy!
So, how do you do it? Let's walk through the steps.
Wash and zest your lemons
You'll want to start by washing and scrubbing your lemons really well. This is because most lemons that you'll get at the grocery store are coated in wax.
Once your lemons are squeaky clean, you'll want to remove the zest from all of the lemons. You can either use a microplane to zest the lemons or a vegetable peeler. Whichever method you use, try to make sure that you're only removing the yellow zest, and not the bitter white pith that's underneath.
Place all of the zest in the bottom of a quart Mason jar. I use a wide-mouth variety, and really like them.
Next: add the vodka
Once the lemons have been zested, you'll fill the Mason jar with plain vodka.
I'm of the opinion that you don't necessarily need to use top shelf vodka here. No need to break out the Grey Goose or Belvedere (though I'm sure both would yield a lovely end product). I tend to stick with a more middle-of-the-road, but still good quality vodka, like Smirnoff. Use something that you would feel good about using in a mixed drink.
Put the Mason jar into the water bath
You'll start by screwing a lid onto the Mason jar, finger tight. Preheat your water bath to 135 degrees F and submerge the jar in the water. "Cook" for 2 hours.
If you're looking for a sous vide/immersion circulator, check out this one from Anova. I have the model that was available just before this one.
After that, the process is as simple as allowing the contents of the jar to cool, straining out and discarding the peels, and mixing the vodka with simple syrup.
How should I store my limoncello?
I like to store mine right in the Mason jar in which it was "cooked". But you can put it in any airtight container that makes sense/suits your needs. Put it in tiny glass bottles and give it away as delicious gifts!
Regardless, store it in the fridge.
What should I do with all of those lemons that I zested?
This Sweet and Tart Homemade Lemonade is a good place to start! Homemade Lemon Curd is also a good bet, though you will need to zest a few more lemons.
The Hollandaise sauce on these Crab Cakes Eggs Florentine also use a little lemon juice. AND the Hollandaise is made with the sous vide.
Looking for other sous vide recipes?
Sous Vide Vanilla Extract is great and so economical to make. Seriously, I did the math. Check out that post.
I shared a Sous Vide Flank Steak with you all, too. It is my absolute favorite way to prepare a flank steak.
AND I have a recipe for some amazing Sous Vide Chocolate Cheesecakes! Check 'em out.
I also have a recipe for these fab Sous Vide Eggs, which are impossibly creamy and velvety in texture, not to mention delicious. They're perfect for meal prepping, too.
What should I make with this limoncello?
Make my Limoncello Gin Collins immediately. Make several. They are so, so good. AND don't forget about my Limoncello Martinis or Limoncello Spritzes!
Of course, if you're not into that, you could always sip on your limoncello straight up (and very cold).
Sous Vide Limoncello
- zest of 10 lemons see notes
- 4 cups vodka see notes
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- Place the lemon zest in a quart Mason jar. Fill with vodka. Place the lid on the jar and tighten to finger tight.
- Set your sous vide to 135 degrees F.
- Once preheated, place the Mason jar in the water and cook for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, allow the limoncello to cool to room temperature.
- While it cools, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan (you're making a simple syrup). Bring to a boil, whisking so that the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the mixture from the heat.
- Strain the lemon zest from the limoncello and combine the vodka mixture and simple syrup.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container.
- Make sure to really scrub the lemons in order to remove the wax that's on the skin.
- Personally, I don't think that you need to go all out and use top shelf liquor. However, I wouldn't use well vodka, either. Something middle of the road (that you'd feel good about using in a mixed drink) will work. I used Smirnoff.
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is a generated estimate and is not guaranteed to be accurate.
I have been recently obsessed with Sous Vide, and being a 25 year Bartending Veteran, I thought I give it a try. I followed the recipe exactly, substituting tequila, and it came out as amazing Limoncello! I will be making this and giving it out as fun gifts for Christmas. Great recipe, thank you!
I need to know where you got the cordial glasses and ice bucket. They’re so cool!
Thank you so much!! We don't use them often enough. I want to say that they are from Crate and Barrel, but they were a wedding gift from almost 12 years ago.
I was just wondering how long will this stay fresh if stored in the refrigerator?
About 3 months! But we all know it isn't gonna be around that long 😉