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Serendipity Leads to Alfama Bar

Posted: 11/21/14

Serendipity Leads to Alfama Bar

Restaurant: Lisbon Portugal

Nelson: We were walking around Alfama, the ancient Muslim area of Lisbon when it started to pour. We ducked into the nearest place and it just happened to be a bar. We had no idea how long the downpour would last so we chatted up the bartender at Tasquinha Ginja D'Alfama. The bar only fit 6 people max, but it was well kitted out in alcohol variety, especially varieties of Ginja. Ginja or Ginjinha is a liqueur invented in Lisbon infused with ginja berries, sour cherry (morello cherry) and sugar. If I had to describe the taste from the first time I tried it, I would describe it as the best cough syrup ever. Well it has that cherry cough syrup taste, but no bitterness from medicine, just some of the alcohol taste instead. So a really really good tasting cough syrup. I'm not making it sound appetizing, but it's better than I described and we liked it so much we bought one bottle to bring home.
In the Alfama part of the city there is a special way to consume Ginja and that is in a copo chocolate (chocolate cup). Now we're talking. The proper way is to drink half out of the cup and then put the rest in your mouth and bite into it. As a result it tastes like a chocolate truffle with alcoholic cherry. Absolutely delicious! One of my absolute favourite discoveries on the trip!
As we waited for the rain to clear the bartender introduced more drinks to us. This is Eduardinho which was also invented in Lisbon and is a sort of competitor to Ginja. The shops where they were invented are mere steps away from each other. Supposedly invented by a clown, his likeness is on the bottle and is one of the scariest things I've ever seen printed on a bottle of alcohol. Is that not freaky?

Once again this was a licorice tasting spirit, but not as sweet as Licor Beirao. There is a stronger licorice flavour and even stronger alcohol flavour. I didn't like this drink very much personally, mostly because I don't like licorice.

We chilled out drinking Super Bock until the rain stopped. The timing of the rain starting was serendipitous to discovering alcohols of Lisbon.


Categories: Drinks,  Portuguese,  

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