While almonds are certainly not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about tequila (that would be limes, salt or maybe grapefruit if you’re on that Paloma train). And yet the two go together so, so well, which is why a very smart distiller long ago decided to put the two together to make almond tequila (also known as almendrado). Here’s everything you need to know about it, from the brands that make it to how to easily make your own DIY almond tequila at home.
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Almond Tequila Brands
While some bottlings have been discontinued over the years, there are still a few making almond tequila—most offer a product that’s closer to a liqueur than straight tequila, meaning they have added sweetener. Those brands include Pochteca, El Ultimo, Mar Azul and Reserva del Señor, which offers two different options. Reserva del Señor’s standard Almendrado is made with a blanco tequila, while the brand’s Premium Almendrado is made with a seven-month aged reposado tequila. Both are infused with almond flavoring during the second distillation. Since all of these brands’ bottlings are liqueurs, the ABV for each hovers around 25-30 percent.
How to Make Almond Tequila
Making your own almond tequila is remarkably easy, and the end product tastes far more impressive than you would think. Unlike what you find in the store, this homemade almond tequila is not sweetened and it is full proof. But don’t worry, it’s still far too easy to sip and packs plenty of vanilla-tinged almond flavor. Whip a big batch together, funnel it into small swing-top bottles, give them cute labels and you have yourself a party favor or homemade gift that people will not believe. When they ask you how you made such a delectable spirit, just tell them it’s an old family secret. Here’s how to do it:
32 oz jar or swing-top bottle
Coffee filter and funnel or fine sieve
1 750-ml bottle reposado tequila
8 oz almonds
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Vanilla bean, split
Place the almonds in a pan and heat over a medium flame, stirring until they are fragrant and toasty. Remove the almonds, let cool and roughly chop using a knife, meat tenderizer or food processor.
Place the almonds in a jar along with the cinnamon stick and split vanilla bean. Top with reposado tequila and seal the jar.
Leave the jar in a cool, dark place for about two days, shaking every so often. Taste at the end of the two days. If it is not as flavorful as you would like, leave for another day, continuing to taste until you are satisfied.
Line a funnel with a coffee filter or a fine sieve and strain the tequila into a new jar or bottle. Ta-da! You made almond tequila. Use it in fall-flavored Margaritas, Tequila Old Fashioneds or even nutty Tequila Manhattans. As the tequila sits, you may notice some sediment forming. Simply shake before using.