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Ginginha Espinheira

Legend has it that Francisco Espinheira, a monk of Santo António Church, was the first to try and in-fuse sour cherries in “aguardente” (a high alcohol content liquid), with sugar, water and cinnamon. The drink was first introduced on the charismatic counter of Ginginha, founded by an entrepreneur from Galicia, that continues to serve drinks in Largo de São Domingos (Rossio). Ginginha, a close relative to “kirsh”, became Lisbon’s typical drink and, now in the hands of the fourth generation of the family, the business thrives on. Only the best sour cherries (prunus ceresus) are selected and in-fused for four months in the solution, for a production of 150.000 liters per year, many of them to be exported. The sweet, delicious drink can be served “with or without them”, depending on whether the customer wishes or not to bite the soaked fruit served at the bottom of the glass. As per the words imprinted on the Espinheira counter: “it is easier to grab ten stars with one hand, make the sun go cold; turn the world into a statue, than to find a sour cherry drink with such virtue”.