The Flavor of Doritos Has Been Distilled Into a Cheesy Liquor

Empirical Spirits steeped actual Doritos in malt pilsner to create this flavor-blasted liquor. You can sip it on its own or mix it into a cheesy bloody Mary or margarita.
Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit
Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit / PepsiCo Design & Innovation

It’s easy to overlook the culinary artistry that goes into a bag of Doritos. The formula has been tweaked and perfected over the years to fit all the flavors of a plate of nachos into a bite-sized package. Now, you can enjoy the bold snack as a sippable spirit. 

As Food & Wine reports, Doritos is making its signature nacho cheese variety available in liquor form for the first time. A collaboration between Frito-Lay and Empirical Spirits, the 84-proof clear liquor is comparable to a cheesy, corn-scented vodka. To make it, Empirical started with a base of distilled malt pilsner. The alcohol was infused with real Doritos through a process called vacuum distillation, which steeps the chips at a gentle temperature to preserve and extract their complex flavor profile. The result is a beverage that “opens with umami and tangy aromas of nacho cheese, moving to the deeper, corn-forward flavors of the chip to finish on a soft salty note” according to the makers’ tasting notes.

This isn’t the first time Empirical has experimented with adding unconventional flavors to liquor. Offbeat spirits available from the Danish company include such botanicals as plum kernel, cacao husk, and oolong tea. Though Doritos liquor sounds like a novelty item, the distillers took the same approach to the collaboration as they do with the rest of their products. 

Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit will be available in limited quantities starting in January 2024, with preorders available through Empirical’s online store from December 13. Look for it online and in select stores that sell liquor in New York and California with a suggested retail price of $65. If you aren’t sure how to enjoy the spirit, Empirical has published several suggested cocktail recipes on its website, including a cheesy margarita and a bloody Mary with a chip garnish.

[h/t Food & Wine]