Ginjinha shot being served

Ginjinha is found predominantly in its home city of Lisbon but is also a staple tradition in Alcobaça and Óbidos.

Just as you can find coffee stands and small coffee bars for a quick café, you can find small bars that specialise in serving ginjinha shots.

What is Ginjinha liqueur?

Ginja means cherry in Portuguese, so this is, naturally, a cherry liqueur. Ginjinha’s main ingredients are a mixture of cherries, aguardente, sugar and a bit of salt.

Ginjinha Rubi bottles

Various manufacturers put in their own ingredients to adjust the flavour.

  • Cherries: sour cherry berries – the Morello cherry.
  • Aguardente: a very strong alcoholic drink, often referred to as fire water.
  • Sugar: to make it palatable.
  • Salt: to counter the sour cherries.

Where to drink Ginjinha

You can buy it in bottles, in supermarkets as well as specialist bars. But the traditional way of drinking it is between or just after meals. The most well known two places to drink it are the street bars called Á Ginjinha and Ginhina Sem Rival – both in Lisbon.

Á Ginjinha café, Rossio Square, Lisbon

Ginjinha - A Ginjinha cafe

Five generations of the same family have run this shop. It is only big enough to fit three customers at a time, which is why you see lots of people standing outside on the square.

Ginjinha Sem Rival, Lisbon

This bar is extremely popular with locals and it has received positive reviews on Trip Advisor. Its address is R. Portas de Santo Antão 7, 1150 Lisboa, Portugal.

A wonderfully atmospheric bar with very friendly service and wonderful ginjinha. The cherries here are sweeter than most.
A Trip Advisor reviewer

Ginjinha Sem Rival

How to drink Ginjinha

Order your drink “com ginja” (with a cherry in the glass) or  “sem ginja” for one without.

To drink it like the Portuguese, sip slowly and then suck on the berry when you’re through.

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