Portuguese liqueurs

Portuguese liqueurs

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Portugal is renowned for its fine wines, but there are many liqueurs you can enjoy too – and not just port!

Aguardente is a type of Portuguese brandy, derived from 'água' (water) and 'ardente' (fiery), which reflects the drink's reputation for being strong and potent!

Aguardente can be made using any ingredient, including fruits, and grains. This spirit is produced by fermenting the chosen ingredient and then distilling the resulting liquid to obtain a high-alcohol spirit.

Portuguese people believe that aguardente helps stimulate the digestive system after a meal and acts as a natural antiseptic due to its strength.

Ginjinha or Ginja, is a delightful liqueur crafted from small but flavoursome sour ginja berries, ‘prunus cerasus’.

Ginjinha is made by infusing sour cherries with alcohol, usually aguardente, as well as sugar and other secret ingredients. The outcome is a delicious ruby-red beverage that can be enjoyed as both an aperitif and a digestif, often served in chocolate cups!

Poncha is the famous drink of Madeira. This alcoholic beverage is made by combining sugar cane spirit, honey, sugar, and freshly squeezed lemon juice, served warm or cold.

Legend has it that the drink was first created by fishermen to combat cold weather and seasickness.

Licor Beirão is a traditional liqueur produced for over a century. It’s made using a secret recipe that combines natural herbs, spices, and citrus fruits to create a sweet and herby flavour.

The liqueur is named after the Beira region, in central Portugal, where it was first created. Licor Beirāo is usually consumed after a meal or added to cocktails.

Port is a type of wine produced only in the northern Douro region. By EU law, only wines produced in the Douro demarcation area can be labelled as ‘Port’ to protect its traditional and economic significance. Port is fortified by blending it with brandy or another spirit, to increase its alcohol content to 19 or 20%. There are different varieties - sweet ruby red, dry, semi-dry, white, and even rosé.

Port is often paired with cheese, nuts, or chocolate after dinner, but it can also be served as an apéritif before meals.

Discover the wonderful tastes of Portugal.

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Published in: Guide to Portugal / Miscellaneous / Portuguese Life