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Somebody Lastly Made a Doritos-Flavored Spirit, and It Tastes as Funky as You’d Count on

Somebody Lastly Made a Doritos-Flavored Spirit, and It Tastes as Funky as You’d Count on

Some people like to pair spirits like whiskey and Cognac with dark chocolate, dried fruit, or cheese; others prefer to throw back a shot or two while munching on a handful of chips. In a moment of gustatory inspiration, at least one person realized that those chips could be turned into alcohol—introducing the new Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit, a marriage of low-brow snacks with experimental craft distilling.

Empirical is known for making some unusual and downright odd spirits. The company was founded in Copenhagen in 2017 by Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen, who previously worked at the world-renowned restaurant Noma. It has since relocated to America, with a distillery in Brooklyn set to open in the coming months (this new spirit was produced in California). The Empirical team describe themselves as a “flavor company” rather than a distillery with the goal of making alcohol that is difficult to categorize, and they’ve succeeded in that by using unconventional base spirits flavored with a wide range of botanicals. Now these two former gourmands have gone full late-night munchies by infusing a pilsner malt base spirit with cheesy, salty, and umami notes from one of America’s favorite snack foods.

According to Williams, Empirical x Doritos wasn’t made just by soaking a bunch of neon orange chips in vodka. “It is not a simple infusion made to taste like Doritos,” he told Robb Report. “Unlike traditional distillation methods, our process operates at lower temperatures, preserving the full spectrum of flavors derived from the maceration process.” No other flavoring was used to make this spirit, just Nacho Cheese Doritos. “This ensures that the essence of the Doritos flavor profile is fully captured in the spirit,” said Williams. “The last step is to blend all of the distillation fractions to meticulously achieve the Doritos flavor in all of its complexity.”

We got to try a sample, and this clear spirit is certainly unlike anything you’ve tasted before. On the nose, there’s a distinctive funky cheese note, which if you grew up eating Doritos is instantly recognizable. That follows onto the palate, along with a bit of sour citrus, vanilla, and some hoppy botanicals. This Doritos spirit is worth trying neat, but it might not be something you want to sip all night. To that end, Empirical recommends using it in a few cocktails, like a Double Triangle Margarita made with equal parts Empirical and tequila, or an Old Fashioned with a bit of mezcal or some of Empirical’s Ayuuk spirit.

You can find Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit available starting today at select retailers in New York and California, or you can order it directly from the Empirical website. And if this proves to be a success, maybe a Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch spirit will be next.

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Source: Robb Report

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