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The Types of Portuguese Liquor You Have to Try

Everything you need to know about the alcohol of Portugal

Portugal is the perfect hillside country full of places where distilled liquor, liqueur, and wine comes from.

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portuguese liquor

Portuguese liquor includes clear and dark liquids, depending on your palette preferences. 

Multiple places in Portugal infuse aromas, spices, oaks, and liqueurs to make their delicious recipes. 


Portuguese Liquor 

Portuguese liquor comes in many forms, names, flavors, and colors.

You deserve to try their most popular drinks on your next trip to Portugal. So let’s break down the most popular Portuguese spirits. 

Licor de Singeverga 

Licor de Singeverga comes from Roriz, Portugual.

However, it’s made by Benedictine monks at the Singeverga Monastery. The Monastery distills Singeverga with vanilla, coriander, cloves, angelica root, saffron, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

With all the botanicals, Singeverga has multiple spice aromas and looks warm due to the caramel-colored liqueur. 

It’s the only liqueur produced at the Singeverga Monastery. 


Moscatel 

Moscatel refers to Moscatel de Setúbal and Moscatel de Favaios.

moscatel

Both are wines produced in Portugal, known for their aromatic scents and sweet tastes. 

Moscatel de Setúbal is produced in Azeitão, Portugal, while Moscatel de Favaios is produced in the northeast region of Portugal. 

Moscatel wine is typically drunk with ice or chilled when you’re drinking during a meal. 

On the other hand, people love room-temperature Moscatel with dessert. It’s the perfect drink for cheese, nuts, chocolate, and orange. 


Aguardente Bagaceira 

Aguardente Bagaceira is a Portuguese liquor distilled from grapes.

Aguardente Bagaceira

They use the skin and pulp of the grape discarded after winemaking. It’s one of the only liquors produced in Portugal by winemakers. 

There are many variations of Aguardente Bageceira; however, it commonly has grape and other fruity aromas. Also, it’s colorless and has a smooth finish. 


Medronho 

Medronho gets its namesake from medronho berries, fermented to make this fruity brandy from Algarve, Portugal.

Medronho

The production methods vary because many producers operate illegally. However, producers in the Algarve region have gotten a license to produce. 

It’s the type of drink that people love having neat or with ice. The clear color and strong flavors ensure few additives are needed. 

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Ginjinha 

Ginjinha has been associated with Óbidos, Portugal, and Alcobaça, Portugal, and is made with sour cherry.

Ginjinha

\Seeing Ginjinha on menus throughout the country is unsurprising.

During production, no artificial preservatives are added. Also, there’s a strong cherry aroma and taste. The ruby red color contributes to the subtly sweet taste. 

Many people love enjoying this drink with alcohol-soaked cherries. But, on the other hand, it’s a drink best served neat or as a shot. Also, Portugal is famous for serving Ginjinha in chocolate cups. 


Licor Beirão 

Licor Beirão is one of the beloved herbal liqueurs from Lousã, Portugal.

It’s been a beloved drink for centuries due to its production method of macerating twelve botanicals together. 

Licor Beirão began as a healthy remedy in Portugal. Over the years, it’s become the most popular Portuguese liqueur due to its earthy aromas. 


Amêndoa Amarga 

Translating directly to “sour almond,” Amêndoa Amarga has productions mainly in Algarve, Portugal, but it’s a Portuguese liqueur enjoyed throughout the country.

It’s a drink for after lunch or dinner to end the night, and it’s always served with ice cubes. 

Many people enjoy Amêndoa Amarga as an alternative to Porto wine. While Porto wine is sweet tasting, Amêndoa Amarga is bitter and has aromas of almonds. 


Madeira Wine

Madeira is a wine produced in Portugal; however, it’s not a typical wine drink.

Madeira Wine

Similar to Porto wine, Madeira wine is produced on Madeira Island. 

Madeira wine ranges from a dry to a sweet taste on the palette due to how it’s produced. Typically, it’s chilled and served with ice during dinner appetizers. Also, it’s the perfect post-dinner drink to end your night. 

Distilleries add small amounts of brandy when Madeira is produced. However, it creates a delicious taste and sweet aroma after it’s bottled. 


Licor de Merda 

Licor de Merda comes from Cantanhede, which is in Central Portugal.

Ironically, Licor de Merda translates to “shit liqueur.” Despite the name, Licor de Merda is one of the most popular Portuguese liqueurs. 

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Licor de Merda has an aguardiente base. Aguardiente is a distilled alcohol with a high alcohol by volume. 

In addition, the ingredients include milk, sugar, fruits, and spices to achieve a delicious taste. 


Vinho Verde 

Vinho Verde gets a bad reputation because the green in the name gives people the impression that people make wine from unripe grapes.

Vinho Verde

Also, you must consume Vinho Verde soon after it’s bottled, which makes people believe it’s less complex than other wines.

However, Vinho Verde can be white, red, and rose. It’s light and airy while being refreshing and fruity on the palette. Due to its light taste, many love pairing this wine with salad, fish, sushi, white meats, and light snacks during a summer picnic. 

Also, it’s typically crisp and fizzy on the palette, which makes it the perfect summer wine. 


Porto Tonic 

Porto Tonic is a different Portuguese liquor made with white Porto wine and tonic water.

Porto Tonic

It’s similar to a gin and tonic, wildly popular across Europe. However, the alcohol content of a Porto Tonic is much lower. 

White wine is delicious when combined with ice cubes because it’s refreshing when cold. Also, you can add lemon, mint leaves, and lime zest to the drink for extra flavor. 

The distinct flavor of tonic water adds bubbles to Porto wine to enhance the flavor. 

Poncha 

Poncha is also called Poncha de Madeira due to its production on the Portuguese island Madeira.

Poncha

Poncha is distilled from sugarcane; its other ingredients include oranges and lemons. 

The variety of tart and sugar creates a unique taste in the palette. However, the balance of aromas gives you more citric notes, which opposes the taste. 

The production depends less on the specific ingredients and more on the expertise of the Portuguese people adjusting the precise proportions of the ingredients. 

Vinho do Porto 

Vinho do Porto is the Portuguese name for the Porto wine.

Vinho do Porto

It’s a famous city for storing, aging, and shipping Port wine worldwide. 

Vinho do Porto has many varieties and has something for everyone’s palette. 

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A sweet vinho do Porto can be served with dessert or at the beginning of a meal with the cheeseboard. You can chill your Vinho do Porto or add ice before sipping to capitalize on the chilling flavors. 


Super Bock 

Super Bock is the only Portuguese beer on this list.

Super Bock

When it comes to beer, throughout Portugal, people mainly drink Super Bock or Sagres, depending on preference. Super Bock is crafted in Northern Portugal.

The aromas in Super Bock include Belgian spicy yeat and white bread crust. The deep gold color comes with a low bitterness and a crisp finish. 


Frequently Asked Questions 

Now that you understand the most popular Portuguese liquors let’s look at some of the most asked questions about Portuguese liquors. 

What is the most common alcoholic beverage in Portugal? 

Port Wine is drunk all over Portugal and is even popular in countries like the United Kingdom. It’s distilled from grape spirits and comes in multiple flavors, which makes it the most famous wine in Portugal. 

How much alcohol is consumed in Portugal? 

Portugal has the highest wine consumption in the world. In 2020, Portugal citizens consumed over 51 liters of wine per person. 
Portugal has some of the largest wine production in the world. High-quality wine is accessible because lunch and dinner are popular times to consume wine in Portugal. 

What are Portuguese drinking songs? 

Portugal is known for its nostalgic, poignant, and dramatic music scene. However, Portuguese drinking songs are laid back and allow you to relax which having a drink or two during the day or night. 


Final Thoughts 

Now you have the information on the best Portuguese liquor to try on your next visit to the country. Portugal produces many brands of liquor and wine, but the ones on this list are known for having the best taste. 

Whether you like your drinks neat, on the rocks, or are looking for the perfect drink for food pairings. 

Leave a comment below to tell us your favorite Portuguese liquor. 

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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