Portugal’s best kept secret
By far Lisbon is one of my favourite cities. I cannot wait to visit again. One of the quaint features of Lisbon, is the tiny little bars at every street corner. Like our Indian ‘Tapris’ however, instead of Chai (tea), they serve alcohol! What a concept right? With this article I will highlight some of the must have Portuguese drinks, when you visit the country. Before my trip, everyone recommended the port wine. However, two other portuguese drinks were the highlight for me.
Ginjinha– The Ninja of Cherry liqueurs
Nobody tells you about this very special alcohol –Ginjinha! The ‘unofficial’ official drink of Lisbon. Maybe you have had cherry liqueur before, but I can guarantee that you have not had anything till you have the Portuguese one! This Portuguese drink 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. Have the one with real cherries at the bottom, it will give you a good kick! Locals have this drink throughout the day. We had it on a windy, cold day in the city and it set us in the right mood for the rest of the evening
Pro Tip: Look for the places that serve the Ginjinha in a chocolate cup, the two together will get you swooning!
Moscatel is another drink you should be looking for. Unlike Ginjinha, it is had throughout Portugal and is the real winner. At first I thought Portuguese drinks consisted only of Port, but the Moscatel I tasted here, took it up a notch. Moscatel has a lighter more citrus flavour. It makes for a great drink after a meal. Hence I bought back 2 bottles for my ‘mae’ and she is still raving about it!
Porto – the wine producing region of Portugal
These days the Portuguese don’t want to focus on their Port wine. They would prefer you taste their world class wines. Also it’s good to note that 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. Port wine is named after Porto, given all the wine producing regions here.
Must Visit- Douro valley & Quinta Da Bomfin
I went for a local wine tasting tour from Porto. We visited the Douro valley, which should not be missed. There are a lot of Vineyards in the Douro valley and‘Quinta da Bomfim’ is one of the oldest, going back to the 17thcentury. Thus, it is one with the largest land holding in the region. We tasted a LOT of wine on the tour. Considering the amount of wine I tasted I have no specific recommendation. However I can tell you, enjoying well-made wine in the beautiful hills of Douro is definitely worth it!
If you want to read my post on eating like the locals in Portugal: Click here