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Doritos Launches a Nacho Cheese Spirit

Vacuum distillation preserves "the full spectrum" of Doritos flavors.

Frito Lay Empiricalx Doritos
PepsiCo Design & Innovation

PLANO, Texas — Doritos on Tuesday unveiled a collaboration with the flavor innovators at Empirical: "Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit."

The limited-release offers a "multi-sensorial, delicious beverage experience that smells and tastes just like the real thing." According to Frito-Lay North America, the convenient foods division of PepsiCo, the new spirit will bring the "iconic flavor of Doritos Nacho Cheese Chips" into the spirits aisle — the company didn't detail the beverage's specific type of spirit.

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"Empirical is an 'uncategorized' spirits company, so it allows us the freedom to experiment with really interesting flavors and not have to be stuck in a gin box or tequila box or whiskey box," says Lars Williams, chef, distiller and CEO at Empirical. 

The partnership marks a first-of-a-kind innovation for both brands. To create the flavor, the many flavor layers of Doritos Nacho Cheese are extracted through Empirical's innovative production process, using real Doritos chips and retaining their essence through vacuum distillation.

Unlike traditional distillation methods, vacuum distillation operates at lower temperatures, preserving the full spectrum of flavors derived from Doritos.

"Doritos is all about disrupting culture and bringing our fans unexpected, bold experiences," said Tina Mahal, senior vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay North America, in a statement. "We're always pushing our fans to try new things, so we figure it's time we disrupt the spirits category by offering our iconic nacho cheese flavor in a bottle."

Limited-edition bottles of Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit will be available next month for a suggested retail price of $65 (42% ABV, 750ml) online and in select New York and California markets. Pre-orders begin Dec. 13 at doritos.x.empirical.co.

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