Ginjinha is a type of cherry liqueur with close links to Lisbon, and in and around Largo de São Domingos, a square in the city’s historical center, there are at least five bars that specialize in the drink. The most famous of these, and quite possibly the first, having opened in 1840, is A Ginjina.
The space is roughly the size of a large closet, the marble walls etched with prizes won nearly a century ago. When you approach the bar at A Ginjinha, you’ll be asked one question: “With or without them?” The query is a reference to booze-soaked cherries, and the correct answer is “With.”
From there, you escort your tiny glass to the square—there’s no seating at A Ginjinha—shoes sticking to the syrupy floor with every step, and have a sip in the perpetual Lisbon sun. The drink consists of grape pomace brandy supplemented with sour cherries, cinnamon and a generous amount of sugar. It’s sweet and fragrant, goes down easy and is deceptively powerful, especially if you’ve opted for those cherries.
Know Before You Go
A Gijinha is a cash-only establishment.