The One With A Ginjinha – Syrupy Cherry Tipple In Lisbon

It was a chilly long ride back from Cabo da Roca, and my stomach was rumbling. Afterall, it was way past eight at night, and this hungry boy could have eaten a cow.

But no deal. My new friends, Komei and Charlotte insisted that we should have a go at the famous local cherry, syrupy drink called ginjinha. And there was no better place than to have it at the birth place of the tipple, a tiny postage-stamp-sized bar at Baixa called an unimaginative A Ginjinha.

A Ginjinha at Lisbon, Portugal

The owner smiled as we approached and was quick to point out that they were about to close shop, so whatever that we were about to have, we are to have it quick. So we dutifully doled up our Euros and, slightly unnerved by the ancient poster of the drink’s 19th-century inventor (a cleric named Espinheira), we toasted to each other’s good health and gulped in down.

The shot was sickly sweet – almost like cough syrup – only much thicker but not in an unpleasant way. The ginjinja burned its way down to my (still empty) stomach, spreading much needed warmth to parts of my bodies I could no longer feel during that chilly winter night.

A Ginjinha at Lisbon, Portugal

I smacked my lips and looked at my friends. Charlotte was grinning sheepishly, her cheeks blushing furiously while Komei spotted a most unmanly grimace and passed his half-drunk glass to me.

What a man got to do in that situation? But to drink up of course.

And then we went our tipsy way into the streets of Lisbon, stumbling slightly in each others’ arms, searching for dinner.

A Ginjinha
Largo de Sao Domingos 8
Lisbon, Portugal


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