SUMMER DRINKS IN LISBON

SUMMER DRINKS IN LISBON

This year the summer promises to be very hot, so take the opportunity to discover some of the most traditional drinks you can have in Lisbon.

Nothing better than a very cold drink for hot days, right?

This year the summer promises to be very hot, so take the opportunity to discover some of the most traditional drinks you can have in Lisbon.

Some of these suggestions are so old that they sometimes fall out of favor, giving way to fashions, but all Lisboners have already tried them, at least once in their lives.

And the truth is that just remembering them, the desire to drink them with family and friends returns.

With or without alcohol, you just have to choose the time and the best occasion to try these that are my favorite summer drinks.

GROSELHA
The French love “cassis” or “grenadine” and Lisboners love Groselha (Redcurrant), with its fruity and sweet taste, cut by the acidic aftertaste of the berries of this red fruit rich in anti-oxidants.

Groselha syrup is one of the drinks that surely lives in the childhood memories of many Lisboners.

This syrup is usually diluted with water, more or less depending on the preference of the sugary flavor you want to give your drink.

Add some ice cubes and you’re ready for a hot day.

You can also dilute it in milk to make creamy smoothies or even ice cream and you can also add it only to a glass full of crushed ice to enjoy a groselha crushed ice drink.

If you’re into an alcoholic version for a sunset mix this syrup with crushed ice and a part of vodka and you’ll get a groselha “caipirinha”.

You can find large bottles of Groselha syrup in any supermarket here in Lisbon.

In the summer I always have a bottle of these ready to prepare a cold drink and one of the tips I give you is to store the bottle in the refrigerator, after opening, so this way you will always have a cooler base for your fresh drink.

CAPILÉ
Like the Groselha this is another classic Portuguese syrup, to dilute in water and drink as a refreshment.

Capilé is a drink made from avenca leaves (maidenhair), with a touch of orange blossom water, which is served with freshwater, ice, and lemon peel, for a slightly sweet, subtly perfumed and extremely refreshing drink.

It is a very old Portuguese original recipe and its first records date from 1780 and it has always been a traditional drink, widely consumed in Lisbon.

Some say it was the favorite refreshment of Lisboner writer Eça de Queiroz.

Nowadays it is not so easy to find Capilé, but it’s sure worth the taste and you can buy it at A Vida Portuguesa store.

Mazagran Coffee drink
Mazagran

MAZAGRAN
You already know for sure that Lisboners are almost addicted to coffee and that here in Lisbon you drink coffee at any time of the day.

But this drink, Mazagran, which we can perhaps consider a type of Iced coffee lemonade, is the ideal trick to drink coffee without burning your tongue on a hot summer day.

The original Mazagran recipe also called café mazagran, formerly spelled masagran, comes from Algeria, but it became very popular here in Lisbon.

I particularly like Mazagran and it’s the “coffee” I’ve been having every morning after breakfast to face the heat that’s been going on these days, assuring my morning dose of caffeine.

Try this extraordinary blend of coffee and lemon juice if you find it on any Lisbon cafe menu or make it at home, for its recipe is very easy: 1 espresso, 2 large ice cubes, 1 cup of very cool water, 1 dessert spoon of sugar (optional), 1 dessert spoon of lemon juice, and 2 lemon slices. Mix it all in a tall glass adding the espresso last and it’s ready to drink.

It may sound a little strange, but it’s surprisingly delicious and a perfect drink for summer!

Ginjinha os Amigos da Severa
Ginjinha

GINJINHA
Ginjinha is one of the most consumed liquors in Portugal, but it is in the Lisbon region that this liquor is king.

Fruit-based liqueurs date back to ancient local times when they were thought to be medicinal.

The sour cherry, as the name suggests, is made from sour cherry, fermented in brandy and accompanied by sugar, water, and cinnamon.

Legend has it that Ginjinha was created by an alchemist friar who wanted to take advantage of the large quantities of sour cherry in Óbidos.

Therefore, this famous drink is born in Óbidos, and there is nothing like going to Óbidos and tasting the Ginjinha in its birthplace, where it is traditionally served in small chocolate cups.

In Lisbon, it has been consumed regularly since the 19th century and there are dozens of taverns spread throughout the city where it is possible to drink a ginjinha at any time of the day, with friends, as a digestive or aperitif before any meal.

Like all liquors, it is served in small glasses, like a shot of this very sweet liqueur.

In any of the many places where you can order a ginjinha they will ask you the emblematic question “Com ou sem elas?” (with or without them?).

“Com elas” is the liqueur with the sour cherries on the bottom and “sem elas” is just the liqueur.

The choice is yours, but remember that the sour cherry at the end has a very sour flavor.

The most popular place to try ginjinha is A Ginjinha do Largo de S. Domingos.

Owned by a Galician named Espinheira, it was the first establishment in Lisbon, in 1840 to serve this drink and quickly became an ex-libris of the city.

But my favorite tavern for a ginjinha at the end of the afternoon is Os Amigos da Severa, in Mouraria, because unlike other places, they serve it very fresh, directly from the refrigerator where they are kept.

SANGRIA
There is no summer in Portugal without the refreshing Sangria!

Associated with the south of Spain and the typical bullfights in Andalusia, Portugal also claims its origin, whose name Sangria (sangue = blood) was due to the reddish color of the original recipe, made with red wine.

Whether to accompany a sardine or a summer meal or to chat with friends in the hottest nights, the recipe for a good “Portuguese” sangria is simple: fruit cut into pieces big enough not to be swallowed when drinking, like orange, lemon, apple, pear or red fruit, preferably brown sugar to macerate the fruit for at least 2 hours, red wine and a fizzy drink in the same measure as wine. Ice when serving and there you have, a fun night!

You can also add spices like cinnamon sticks and seasoning it with mint leaves but my favorite version is the Mundus bottled Sangria to which you only need to add the fruit of your choice.

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