What do the Portuguese drink?
PART 2 of my trip to Portugal talks about all the mouthwatering drinks the country has to offer, so read on….
By far Lisbon is one of my favourite cities and I cannot wait to visit the sunny city again. One of the quaint features of Lisbon, are the tiny little bars at every street corner. They are like Indian ‘Tapris’ but instead of Chai, they serve alcohol. Cool concept, right? While everyone recommends the port wine, two other drinks were the highlight for me.
Ginjinha- The Ninja of Cherry liqueurs
And this is a very special alcohol –Ginjinha! The ‘unofficial’ official drink of
Lisbon. Maybe you have had cherry liqueur before, but you have not had anything like the Portuguese one. It is made by infusing Ginja berries in alcohol and adding sugar and other ingredients to it. Served in little plastic cups, on the streets, it is full of flavour. If you have the one with real cherries at the bottom, it will definitely give you a good kick. Locals have this drink throughout the day. We had it one windy cold day in the city and it set us in the right mood for the rest of the evening
Traveler Tip: Look for the places that serve the Ginjinha in a chocolate cup, the two together will get you swooning.
Unlike Ginjinha, Moscatel is had throughout Portugal. This is the real winner for
me, over Port wine. There should be a song made about it. Because you will feel like singing after a sip. While I cannot claim to be a wine connoisseur, I can appreciate a nice glass. At first I thought it was only about Port, in Portugal, but the Moscatel I tasted here, took it up a notch for me. Moscatel has a lighter more citrus flavour and makes for a great drink after a meal. I bought back 2 bottles for my ‘mae’ and she is still raving about it.
Port Wine & Wine
The Portuguese don’t want to focus, on their Port wine, these days and would
prefer you to taste their world class wines. The wines in Portugal, come from the north, given the hilly region as compared to the beaches in the south. Porto, in the North, is the second largest city after Lisbon. Infact Port wine is named after Porto, given all the wine producing regions here. I went for a local wine tasting tour from Porto. The Douro valley should be a must visit on your journey to Portugal. While there are a lot of Vineyards in the Douro valley, ‘Quinta da Bomfim’ that I visited is one of the oldest, going back to the 17th century. It is also one with the largest land holding in the region. We tasted a LOT of wine on the tour. It is not to be missed given the beauty of the region and the vineyards here. Considering the amount of wine I tasted I have no specific recommendation. However I can tell you that enjoying well-made wine in the beautiful hills of Douro is definitely worth it!