Saude! With this greeting resounding in the quaint little bar at Obidos, I slugged my first shot glass of the unique Ginja. And as the tangy liqueur washed down the sides of my throat, there was no doubt that I would ask for more and more! I hesitated, for I didn’t want to act like an uncouth drunk who had long since forgotten to savor a good liqueur.
I gave Rui (of Around Lisbon) one of those questioning looks, and knowing the sucker I was for a good wine, he nodded his consent. I made the smart choice – I would have a second, go out and wander around the ancient Estremadura village surrounded by its imposing walls, and return. And no one would be the wiser.
And I am sure that most would agree – you deserve another Ginja after the trudging and climbing through this quaint old village. Who idea was it anyways to make this unbelievable concoction? I gathered from my conversations with the bar owner that the abundance of cherry trees in the village of Sobral da Lagoa probably led to the first distillation of these liqueurs. But I am sure that that was not the case, but the story of the monks playing a greater role, holds greater weight.
Whatever it be, enjoying a glass of Ginja is a part of Portuguese tradition, and though every tavern will have a selection on offer, it tastes its best in Obidos, where it all began!