We have already discussed our experience and growing attraction for Port but Portugal has another local drink. Ginja, a cherry liquor, was first made in Obidos but is now more widely procurable.
Hating the experience cherry cough syrup, we found Ginja strong yet remarkably easy on the palette. The flavor has the crispness, and even the tartness, of ripe cherries by being distilled simply from the fruit . Indeed, often the bottles come with cherries floating in the sweet nectar of the liquor and sometimes you can buy the Ginja as part of a package that includes chocolate cups like shot glasses to serve the spirit in.
Some of the most fun were the Ginjarias of Lisbon; tiny stores that sold shots of Ginja. By tiny, we mean 6 feet across and two small steps to the bar. On a warm summer night, you can find Lisboans milling outside these micro bars, giving you a sense of the friendship and warmth that these local dives peddled.
However, while we liked most of our Ginja experiences, there are many cheap and very mean-spirited versions of this alcohol. Caveat Emptor, buyer beware in trying this experience.
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