Note: It is easier to peel, zest, and juice lemons and limes if you warm them first in the microwave oven. Place them in the oven 4 at a time and cook them on high for one minute until slightly warm (not hot). If heating a single lemon, do not exceed 20 seconds.
- Zest from 10 fresh lemons.
- 4 cups vodka (750 ml.). You can substitute Everclear (151 proof) for a more authentic limoncello.
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (or 1.75 cups granulated sugar)
- Set the Sous Vide to 135ºF.
- Wash lemons in hot water to remove wax.
- Remove the zest in strips with a vegetable peeler. Try to get only the yellow zest without taking any white pith. If you have a zest grater, use that but it is a lot more work.
- Place zest strips and alcohol in a sous vide bag and cook for 2 – 4 hours. (longer/overnight is better).
- Heat water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat until dissolved and place it in the refrigerator to completely cool.
- Strain the lemon and alcohol mixture into a container and place it in the freezer to cool.
- Stir the sugar water into the cold lemon alcohol mixture. If you mix these hot, they will be cloudy and bitter.
- Serve chilled.
Some recipes show adding the sugar and water with the liquor and peels/zest in the sous vide. My theory is diluting the alcohol with water and sugar will slow the infusion so I add it after.
A simpler way to dissolve the sugar in water is to place the mixture in a microwave and heat until is just starts to boil. At this point, the mixture will become clear when stirred.