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Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you make the base for the ice cream.
Pour 1 1/2 cups milk into a large saucepan. Whisk in brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat, whisking often, until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and evaporated milk in a medium bowl until combined. Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil or the custard will curdle.
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl (preferably stainless-steel). Add the softened gelatin and whisk until melted. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup milk and vodka (or rum). Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. During the last 5 minutes of freezing, add almonds. If desired, place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.