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Ginjinha | Portuguese Cherry Liqueur
Prep Time
15 mins
Resting time
21 d
Total Time
21 d 15 mins

Delicately flavoured cherry liqueur with notes of cinnamon, cloves & nutmegs is a speciality of Portugal. When served in chocolate cups makes for a delicious after dinner treat.

Course: Wines
Cuisine: Portuguese
Keyword: Cherry, Ginjinha
Author: Shireen Sequeira
  • 1 kg cherries (with stone)
  • 1/2 kg granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cup grappa or aguardente or vodka
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  1. Wash the cherries well, remove the stems. Pat them dry to remove any traces of water and then transfer them into a clean, dry, sterile glass or ceramic jar.
  2. Add the sugar and spices and give everything a good mix. Fasten the lid and shake the jar so that the sugar coats the cherries properly. Unfasten the lid but keep the jar covered.
  3. Place the jar in the sun for 10 days. You can bring the jar indoors after sunset and place it outside again the next day.
  4. After the 10th day add the vodka and red wine to it, fasten the lid and store in a cool, dry place of your kitchen for another 14-21 days.

  5. Filter this mixture by passing it through a clean sieve or a muslin cloth placed over a clean, dry pan. Reserve some of the cherries to be placed back in the bottles of ginjinha. The rest of them can be mashed up & stewed to extract thick & saucy syrup to flavour your desserts.
  6. Pour the filtered ginjinha into sterile bottles. Drop in 3-4 cherries into the bottles if you wish - this is just to enhance the aesthetics.
  7. Serve Ginjinha in little small portions as an aperitif or a digestif. It tastes best when served in little chocolate cups if you can find them.