Ginjinha or Ginja is a delicious liquer made of a cherry-like berry called ginja. The berries are fermented into a brandy that’s slightly bitter, slightly sweet and incredibly sticky!! The original recipe is said to be created by a friar of the Church of Santo António, Francisco Espinheira who used to practice with soaking ginja berries in aguardente (the Portuguese brandy), adding sugar, water and cinnamon.
Near Largo de São Domingos there are several tiny bars serving up Ginginha shots. The most popular is A Ginjinha (dating back to 1840s) and, probably, the smallest bar where a maximum of three people can go in at a time and savour a Ginja. Soon after the opening of the first Ginjinha bar the liquer has become the drink associated with Lisbon and the typical souvenir from this beautiful city!
You can take your shot com (with) or sem (without) a berry, although most Portuguese like to have their Ginjinha ‘com Ginja’. The Ginjas are on the bottom of the bottle and it requires a fair bit of skill to get just one berry into a cup made of chocolate!
There’s no specific time for drinking a Ginja, the Portuguese tend to drink all day and Ginjinha bars are open from early morning.
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