3 Portuguese drinks you can make at home

By / Wine + Drinks / September 1st, 2020 / 9
Portuguese drinks caipirinha cocktail

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the world’s travel industry has come to a halt. Even though you might have to wait for your next transatlantic trip to Portugal, now is the perfect time to bring a piece of the Mediterranean to you. Even though Portugal is most famous for its port wine, they also produce a variety of other delicious drinks, many of which have Spanish or Brazilian influence. Turn on some Fado music, grab your muddler, and dive into these three delicious Portuguese drinks.


Caipirinha is widely consumed around Portugal and is the national cocktail of Brazil. It’s made with cachaça, a type of alcohol that comes from fermented sugar cane. The exact origins of Caipirinha aren’t known, but it’s thought that it may have been enjoyed by sailors traveling from Brazil to Portugal in the early 20th century to ward off scurvy.

60 ml cachaça
1 lime, quartered
2 tsp sugar
1 lime wedge (optional)

Muddle the sugar and lime quarters together in a glass. Add a couple of ice cubes and the cachaça. Stir gently. Add a lime wedge for garnish.


Sangria is one of the most popular drinks consumed in Portugal and Spain and dates back to at least the 18th century. Sangria is traditionally made with red wine and chopped fruit, but many variations include other ingredients as well.

1 L Portuguese red wine
1 L Sumol (or orange soda)
1/2 cup brandy
1 orange, sliced
1 bunch red grapes
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced

Combine the ice, red wine, and brandy. Add the fruit and mix well. Chill for about 4 to 8 hours to infuse the flavours of the fruit. Add the Sumol or orange soda before serving.

Want more Sangria recipes? Here are 5 unique Sangria recipes to try.


Ginja is a liqueur made by infusing sour cherries in a Portuguese brandy called aguardiente. It’s particularly popular around Lisbon and Oeste. Many bars serve it in an edible chocolate glass.

2 cups sour cherries (Morello cherries)*
300 ml aguardiente (or grappa)s
120 ml red wine
1 cup brown sugar

Warm red wine over medium heat and add brown sugar. Wait for sugar to dissolve. Allow it to cool to room temperature. In a sealable jar, add the cherries, wine mixture, and aguardiente. Infuse for a month, shaking the jar roughly every three days. Serve as an aperitif in a small glass either at room temperature or slightly chilled.

*You can use slightly underripe black cherries as well.


Daniel Yetman is a freelance writer who left the shores of Nova Scotia to pursue his MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan. When he’s not binging on dark chocolate and kimchi, he’s jetting around the world to try the local cuisine.

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