Ginja

Old Nov 7th 2021, 9:08 pm
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Default Ginja

I'm enjoying my stay in Portugal (spent a few days in Beja and now on the Algrave coast) and have been trying the local spirits and liqueurs. The brandy I tried was not great. Licor Beirao is okay. Which do you think is the best brand of Ginja? What's the etiquette for drinking from those small chocolate thimbles? Sip from it or dump the whole thing into your mouth and gobble it down?

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Old Nov 8th 2021, 7:03 am
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Default Re: Ginja

Originally Posted by m2m2012 View Post
I'm enjoying my stay in Portugal (spent a few days in Beja and now on the Algrave coast) and have been trying the local spirits and liqueurs. The brandy I tried was not great. Licor Beirao is okay. Which do you think is the best brand of Ginja? What's the etiquette for drinking from those small chocolate thimbles? Sip from it or dump the whole thing into your mouth and gobble it down?
We have enjoyed Eduardino ginjinha near the Rossio in Lisbon - haven't seen it in the Algarve but you never know. When in the Algarve you should try the Aguardentes Medronho and Figo. Some landlords are a bit cagey about Figo and keep it only up in the 'attic' for special guests (a bit like moonshine) but no harm in asking.

Have seen Phygus Aguardente de Figo Fig Brandy in many bars.

We were in Madeira for three months to the end of September and they have their own booze culture there with excellent Brandy on offer and an extensive range of local rums which strangely fall under the brandy umbrella.

I'm just not sure if you can get their 'stuff' on the mainland but Pingo Doce usually have a very good range, as do Continente, The excellent liquor store Soares is extensive in the Algarve for further searches and their staff are helpful.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Nov 8th 2021 at 7:19 am.
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Old Nov 8th 2021, 9:25 am
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Obidos claims fame for the Ginja - cherry liqueur - and there it seems to be the done thing to sip gently from the chocolate cup, raise eyebrows and smile politely, then "dump" in your mouth to mix the chocolate and remaining ginja to get full benefit of them mixed. No waste, and splendid taste!
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Old Nov 8th 2021, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Ginja

Ginga is the fruit, a bitter morello cherry. Ginginha is the liqueur - for some reason the second "G" gets changed for a "J" sometimes (I can't find out why) - and the best is home-made! Morello cherries are steeped in Aguardente bagaceira (bagaco), with sugar and cinnamon and then aged for years! My wife's family made it and we still have some wax-sealed bottles from years ago.

As you'd expect, the commercial versions are different because they use different ingredients, are often far sweeter. less alcoholic and without the aging of the "real stuff", which can take your breath away! The idea of drinking it from chocolate cups seems to be a fairly recent import from elsewhere in Europe - the original, as in Sem Rival, etc. is a shot glass, filled to the brim - and the only decision is "com elas, o sem elas" - with or without them (fruit). The skill of the pourer is to get the same number of cherries in each shot glass!
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Old Nov 8th 2021, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Give the Lourinha brandy a try, it's actually (alongside Cognac and Armagnac) a DOP. You'll find this one in a lot of places https://doc-lourinha.pt/ though I prefer this https://loja.quintadorol.com/categor...to/aguardente/

If you like Calvados, give this a try as well, I really like it, though it's a little hard to find: https://amuzidistillery.com/aguardentes/
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Ginga is the fruit, a bitter morello cherry. Ginginha is the liqueur - for some reason the second "G" gets changed for a "J" sometimes (I can't find out why)
Allow me to enlighten you
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Originally Posted by Red Eric View Post
Sorry Eric, that enlightens nothing. The spelling GinGinha, as in Ginginha do Carmo, Ginghinha doMarvão, etc. exists - and was always used by my in-laws, yet your link doesn't even mention it. Ginjinha seems to be the new favourite - and the internet is driving this, although you will find articles using either or both spellings simultaneously (or even a mixture in the same article!) Changes in spelling (as in the nova ortografia) have attempted to simplify and standardise Portuguese spelling across the Lusaphone countries so that may be one explanation, but I cannot pin down the exact reason - which is why I said I can't find out why.

Whichever, both refer to the same thing.
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 1:31 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Originally Posted by Alan PT View Post
Give the Lourinha brandy a try, it's actually (alongside Cognac and Armagnac) a DOP. You'll find this one in a lot of places https://doc-lourinha.pt/ though I prefer this https://loja.quintadorol.com/categor...to/aguardente/

If you like Calvados, give this a try as well, I really like it, though it's a little hard to find: https://amuzidistillery.com/aguardentes/
If your pocket allows, try Adega Velha, whether 6yo; 12yo XO; 13yo Duplo Estágio or 30yo.....

It would be wrong of me not to push the local product - Medronho from the Alentejo - because although it is "known" as an Algarvian drink, vast amounts come from the Odemira, Ourique and Almodovar regions of the Alentejo - and they are so "fed up" with being overlooked that they've requested to be removed from the current "Algarve" classification



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Old Nov 9th 2021, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Sorry Eric, that enlightens nothing. The spelling GinGinha, as in Ginginha do Carmo, Ginghinha doMarvão, etc. exists - and was always used by my in-laws, yet your link doesn't even mention it. Ginjinha seems to be the new favourite - and the internet is driving this, although you will find articles using either or both spellings simultaneously (or even a mixture in the same article!) Changes in spelling (as in the nova ortografia) have attempted to simplify and standardise Portuguese spelling across the Lusaphone countries so that may be one explanation, but I cannot pin down the exact reason - which is why I said I can't find out why.

Whichever, both refer to the same thing.
I've just checked my non internet driven dictionary and it also confirms that the fruit is ginja and doesn't countenance alternatives to ginjinha.

Unlike with eg chila / gila, which are given as equally acceptable alternatives.

I'd say ginginha is therefore an aberration, albeit a common one - they're not unheard of in Portugal. I've got a book full of them I dip into occasionally.
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
If your pocket allows, try Adega Velha, whether 6yo; 12yo XO; 13yo Duplo Estágio or 30yo.....

It would be wrong of me not to push the local product - Medronho from the Alentejo - because although it is "known" as an Algarvian drink, vast amounts come from the Odemira, Ourique and Almodovar regions of the Alentejo - and they are so "fed up" with being overlooked that they've requested to be removed from the current "Algarve" classification

A drop of medronho might have been sipped around here from time to time
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 7:19 pm
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The Black Pig sounded like it came from my area (Ourique is capital of Porco Preto) and surrounded by montado, but it seems to come from Santiago do Cacém, which is outside the "traditional" areas of Odemira, Ourique and Almodovar - and a bit north. Still, if it's good, it's good.

My neighbour (a sprightly 90 year-old) harvests and makes his own aguardente de medronho, buying in grape must to make bagaco to "clean" the alamic still before distilling the fermented fruit..... my BiL makes sure to visit and "test" the product whenever he comes to see us!
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
The Black Pig sounded like it came from my area (Ourique is capital of Porco Preto) and surrounded by montado, but it seems to come from Santiago do Cacém, which is outside the "traditional" areas of Odemira, Ourique and Almodovar - and a bit north. Still, if it's good, it's good.

My neighbour (a sprightly 90 year-old) harvests and makes his own aguardente de medronho, buying in grape must to make bagaco to "clean" the alamic still before distilling the fermented fruit..... my BiL makes sure to visit and "test" the product whenever he comes to see us!
Love these local home made things (even if they are sometimes a little scary)! We had a couple of stalls serving Agua-pe out of an interesting selection of reused plastic containers at the local village fair last weekend (sadly had driven to that one, so wasn't going to risk the unspecified alcohol content!)
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Old Nov 13th 2021, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

There are two famous ginjinha outlets (tiny places) in Central Lisbon near Rossio - I first came across them more than 30 years ago. They were still both in operation last time I was in Lisbon a few years ago. They also served Eduardinho. When ordering ginjinha you needed to specify com elas or sem elas - with or without the cherries. There was a sort of tradition that if you ordered com elas you had a sort of right to spit out the stones quite violently.

All sounds a bit mad, but I'm sure it was like that.
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Old Nov 13th 2021, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Ginjinha or ginginha - I can't think of any word in Portuguese with a -ginha ending. No doubt people will come up with dozens now!
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Old Nov 13th 2021, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Ginja

Eduardo by birth, Italian or Catalan by origin, the legend hasn’t retained the detail, had become known in ancient Lisbon Eduardino. This professional clown was also a frequent customer of “Ginjinha sem Rival” (unrivaled bitter cherry liquor), a famous establishment at the number seven of Rua das Portas de Santo Antão. One day, probably after having had too much to drink already, he decided, right there on the marble counter, to start blending different liquors (cherry, aniseed and others). The formula was so appreciated that was quickly bottled, and labelled with a look alike illustration of its creator. A registered trademark since 1908, he continues to smile at us from the shelves of the art deco interior in downtown Lisbon.



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