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Author Notes: Ginjinha is a Portuguese liqueur made by infusing sour cherries (Morello cherries) in Aguardente which is a Portuguese Brandy. Ginjinha is served in a small glass with a cherry inside and is a typical drink in Lisbon.
Making liqueurs is like a therapy – the maceration period, the recipe which each family has a tradition, bottling it with the new moon, stories that are passed down from generation to generation. But the greatest pleasure is when you bottle the liqueur after a few months and serve it although some bottles are a few years old. I think it's a really nice gift for Christmas, especially with your own label on it. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Serves 1 bottle
- 2 cups sour cherries (Morello cherries)
- 1 1/4 cups Aguardente (Portuguese Brandy) or Grappa
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 2 cups brown sugar
- Wash the cherries and leave some of the stems for taste. If you can't find sour cherries use normal black cherries a bit unripe.
- In a pan over medium heat, warm the red wine and add the sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a 4 cup container with a tight fitting lid add the cherries, the cooled wine and sugar, the cinnamon stick and the cloves. Add the White alcohol (either Aguardente or Grappa) and close the jar tightly.
- Let infuse 1 month in a dark place, giving it a shake every 3 or 4 days.
- Discard the cinnamon and the cloves, bottle the liqueur, adding a few cherries to each bottle and close the bottles with a good fitting cork. Serve in small glasses either as an aperitif or at the end of the meal. In summer you can serve it chilled.
- Will keep several years if you don't drink it meanwhile, which would be a pitty.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Punch
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift