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A Comprehensive Guide to Drinking in Portugal

Posted by on November 1, 2012

Lately, but prominently, Portugal has added itself in the list of Europe’s top gastronomic heavens including Spain, Italy and France. If you are looking for an exclusive wine-tasting tour in Europe, Portugal is the place to be. The country is one of the cheapest wine-tasting places in Western Europe. The country offers a wide range of top-quality wines and other types of drinks. However, Port and Ginjinha make up the unique identity of Portuguese alcohol industry.

Here is a complete guide to the two most authentic Portuguese drinks – Port and Ginjinha:


It is a fortified wine of Portugal which is exported worldwide. In the 17th century fight between England and France, the residents of England realized the scarcity of French wine and thus looked towards Portugal as a substitute. This is how the birth of Port happened. White port, late bottled vintage, vintage port, ruby port and tawny port and ruby ports are types of ports to name a few. The grapes for Port are grown in the Douro valley for centuries and then exported to other European countries.

Where to go: Oporto, or also known as Porto, is the major hub of port wine industry. Here you will find a number of Port houses such as Taylor, Graham and Sandeman. Kopke is the oldest port house in the city. This second largest city of Portugal offers year-round tours to make the travellers learn the history and production of port. Visit the Port wine institute of Porto and taste from hundreds of Ports at the cheapest rate possible. If you want to go closer to the wine, you can board a cruise along the Douro River. If you’re a luxury seeking traveller, you may stay at the Yeatman hotel, also known as a wine hotel due to its wine themed rooms, located on the Vila Nova de Gaia side.

Tips: Port is served after the evening meal along with chocolates, fruits or strong cheese. White port is usually served as an appetizer before dinner with cheese and fruit.


Ginjinha is a type of alcoholic beverage which is made by infusing sour cherries in Aguardente and then adding sugar with other ingredients. A single shot of cherry brandy will cost you only 1 Euro.

Where to go: Lisbon is popular as the home town to Ginjinha. You will find this beverage in all small cafes across the city. However, for the most authentic taste, visit the storefront of ‘A Ginjinha’ which is a small size bar located at Largo de Sao Domingos in Rossio square; this is the oldest Ginjinha bar in the Portuguese capital.

Tips: Due to its sour cherry taste, Ginjinha is sometimes used in deserts. At Bocca in Lisbon, Ginjinha is used in the chocolate cake desert. If you love chocolates, you must try ‘chocolate salami’ found in the majority of grocery stores and cafes in Lisbon. Sliced salami is used as a topping of a cupcake at Lisbon’s popular late-night bakery – Tease. If you want to have Ginjinha in Portuguese manner, drink slowly and have berries at the last.

In addition to Ports, Portugal offers a wide variety of wines such as the vinho verde wines, Alentejo wine and red wines. The country is a major exporter of beer. Ready to go on Portugal tour?  Book your Portugal accommodation and flight before you travel in peace of mind upon arrival.

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