Sous vide limoncello is the perfect way to make your own bottle of this classic Italian liqueur in just 2 hours instead of weeks of waiting. If you enjoy this recipe, don’t miss my recipe for Sous Vide Tequila Infused with Cucumber and Lime!
Although sous vide is one of my favorite ways to prepare proteins, my second favorite use for the cooking method is cocktails and liquor infusions. In fact, I dedicated a whole section to cocktails in my cookbook, Everyday Sous Vide!
Sous vide limoncello is such a yummy liqueur to have in your fridge (it’s best served chilled!) and enjoy any night of the week. It also makes such a fun gift for the holidays, or for anytime.
Why this is a Quick Limoncello Recipe
Typically, when making limoncello, you have to let the lemon rinds and vodka sit for weeks and weeks to properly infuse the flavor. But who wants to wait that long?!
When making sous vide limoncello, it only takes 2 hours to infuse that delicious lemon flavor! Why, you ask?
Sous vide allows you to heat the vodka, which makes the infusion process faster, without evaporating off the alcohol since it’s in a closed container. Pretty cool, huh?
What You Need to Make Homemade Sous Vide Limoncello
If you’re already setup to sous vide, you won’t need to add much to your collection! Outside of the ingredients, here is the equipment you’ll want:
- An immersion circulator. I recommend Vesta Precision‘s Imersa Elite.
- Jars. As large of a jar as you can put in your cooking container while keeping at least the liquid inside submerged.
- (Optional) A designated container to keep your stock pot free. I like Everie containers.
The ingredient list is pretty short:
- Vodka. Use something of decent quality for this. It doesn’t have to be the best vodka available, but you’ll want some that’s good enough to drink on its own.
- Lemons. Meyer lemons are amazing for limoncello, but use what you can. Make sure they’re fresh and the rind is soft, otherwise it’ll be hard to peel.
- Water. Remember that you’ll be drinking this, so use whatever drinking water you normally would.
- Sugar. Just regular ol’ cane sugar, here!
How to Make Homemade Limoncello
Let’s make it! Start by using a vegetable peeler or sharp pairing knife to remove the yellow part of the rind from the lemons, and try to get as little white rind as possible. The white part is bitter, and we’re just looking for bright, citrus flavor here.
Add the lemon rinds and vodka to a quart sized jar, then place the jar in a water bath preheated to 135 degrees F using your immersion circulator and cook for 2 hours.
The lid of the jar does not need to be submerged, but it’s okay if it is. Don’t close the lids of the jar super tight – they should be closed only as tight as you can close them with just the tips of your fingers. Just make sure the vodka is completely submerged.
While the vodka and lemon rind are cooking, make the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally, over low heat. Let it cool to room temperature.
When the lemon rind mixture is done cooking, strain the vodka into a large bowl or container and discard the lemon peels. Add the simple syrup and whisk to combine.
Pour into airtight jars (a funnel comes in handy here!) and store in the fridge. If you’re giving these away, you can easily find cute storage bottles like the ones I used!
What to Make with Limoncello
Honestly, I think limoncello tastes wonderful on it’s own and straight, but it’s also delicious incorporated into a cocktail.
- You could make something like my Boozy Strawberry Lime Soda, and top off 2 oz of limoncello with flavored sparkling water of your choice.
- Or, for something extra boozy, go a mimosa route, but with limoncello in place of OJ!
- I want to try this Limoncello Gin Collins from my friend Lauren at A Nerd Cooks
Sous Vide Limoncello
- 3 cups vodka
- 8 lemons
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- Preheat water bath using immersion circulator to 135 degrees F.
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rinds from the lemons, peeling off as little of the white rind as possible.
- Add the vodka and lemon peels to a quart sized jar. Place in water bath and cook for 2 hours.
- While the vodka mixture is cooking, make simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature.
- When vodka mixture is done, strain mixture into a large bowl and discard lemon peels. Add simple syrup and whisk to combine.
- Pour into airtight jars and refrigerate.