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Ginjinha (Licor de Ginja)

Licor de Ginja d'Óbidos.
Licor de Ginja d'Óbidos

Ginjinha aka Licor de Ginja or ginja is a Portuguese cherry liquor made by infusing ginja berries (sour cherries) in aguardente. The latter is a strong alcoholic beverage with between 29 and 60% alcohol content found in both Portugal and Spain.

Sugar, water, and other ingredients such as cinnamon are then commonly added.

It is a common drink in the capital Lisbon, as well as Alcobaça, Óbidos, and the Algarve. Ginja from the Serra da Estrela around Covilhã has a protected designation of origin.

History

The drink originated in Lisbon in the 1840s with a Galician friar at the Church of Santo António.

A Ginjinha at Largo São Domingos 8, in Lisbon, has been going ever since and is the mecca for ginja aficionados. The nearby Ginjinha Sem Rival at Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 7 began in 1890.

Ginja bar in Lisbon.
Ginja bar in Lisbon

Production Methods

In the variation pictured here, Licor de Ginja d'Óbidos, the production process begins in the region's cherries, where the fruit is harvested at the right stage of maturation. After a maceration process that lasts at least one year, the resulting liquor is extracted without resorting to artificial dyes or preservatives.

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