15 Typical Portuguese Drinks and Beverages

Portuguese beverages are especially renowned for their varieties of wine, which are strongly associated with the country’s history.

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Basic Information

Portuguese Drinks: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Fruits, spices, herbs, milk, coffee.

Common Preparing Methods

Distilling, Fermenting, Blending.

Key Taste

Sweet, Sour, Bitter.

Drinking Etiquette

Drink in a group setting; toast before drinking; drink in moderation and avoid public intoxication; enjoy different drinks at their preferred times of the day.

Culinary Festivals

Christmas, Easter, Carnival, Good Friday.

Influence and Fusion

Many Portuguese beverages hail from the ancient local tradition, though some are influenced by the ingredients and techniques from Spain and the Americas.
Origin and Region

Portuguese Drinks: Origin and Region



Culinary Region

Southern Europe

Country’s Region

  1. North Portugal
  2. Central Portugal
  3. South Portugal
  4. Islands of Portugal
Portugal Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Types of Portuguese Drinks

  • Alcoholic

    Popular Portuguese alcoholic beverages include wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails.

    Portuguese wines are especially popular and available in many varieties.

    American alcoholic beverages are typically made from fruits, especially grapes and sour cherries.

  • Non-Alcoholic

    Portuguese soft beverages come in many different choices, especially tea, coffee, and soft drinks.

    Portuguese people often serve alcoholic beverages warm or with ice.

    Many local alcohol-free beverages are sweetened and flavored with extra ingredients, such as spices and fruit juices.

Portuguese beverages are popular drinks in Portugal. While this Southern European country is world-famous for its wine offerings, there are many other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages worth discovering.

The wine-making tradition of Portugal is rooted in the country’s ancient past and favorable terroir and climate conditions. Many Portuguese wines have a strong presence throughout the world.

Various beverages in Portugal are strongly influenced by culinary interactions with Spain and the Americas. The country’s seafaring history plays a considerable role in their development.

Let’s start learning about Portuguese beverages with a breakdown of Portugal’s traditional drinking culture and the global popularity of local beverages.

Next, I will provide many interesting facts about the 15 most well-known beverages in Portugal as well as the general features of Portuguese drinks.

Traditional Portuguese drinks are beverages that are entrenched in Portugal’s culture and cuisine. I will give you an overview of how locals enjoy these traditional beverages.


The legal drinking age is 18 in Portugal. While locals tolerate drinking in public, there are several limits, such as getting drunk in public or drinking in public premises between 2 AM and 8 AM.

Wine-centric Culture

Portugal has a strong wine culture, with numerous regions producing distinct types of wine. People commonly pair wine with various traditional dishes or enjoy wine after hearty meals as a digestif.

Social Aspect

Drinking in Portugal is often a social activity. Locals like to enjoy their favorite drinks during meals with family and friends or at social gatherings and celebrations rather than on their own.


Portuguese drinking culture emphasizes moderation. While it is common to have a glass of wine or beer with a meal, excessive drinking is far from socially acceptable.

Café Culture

Cafés play a significant role in Portuguese social life and often serve as venues for enjoying beverages, alcoholic or otherwise, in a relaxed setting.

Time of Day

There’s a certain rhythm to drinking in Portugal, as people prefer to enjoy specific beverages at certain times. For example, a light beer or a glass of white wine is ideal for the early evening, while red wines are more common with dinner.

Festivals and Celebrations

Local festivities and summer season celebrations in Portuguese towns and villages often include traditional drinks served alongside music and other entertainment options.

Next, let’s dive into how popular Portuguese beverages are all over the world; there are several facts that will amaze you.

Many Portuguese alcoholic beverages enjoy significant international recognition. In particular, wines like port wine, Madeira wine, and vinho verde are available in many bars and liquor shops around the world.

In 2022, Portugal was the world’s eighth-largest wine exporter, according to data from Statista. Also, wine tourism is a significant aspect of Portugal’s appeal to visitors.

Other types of beverages in Portugal have less global recognition, though they can still be found in countries with historical ties to Portugal, especially in Spain. Many supermarkets in Western countries offer packaged Portuguese beverages of many kinds, from soft drinks to beer.

Without further ado, I will guide you through the most renowned beverages Portugal has to offer in the next section.

15 Popular Portuguese Beverages

You are just a few clicks away from uncovering the most popular 15 Portuguese beverages. To navigate this section more easily, use advanced filters that can help you sort my suggested drinks in terms of popularity, ingredients, tastes, and preparation methods.

I also provide filters classified according to traditional, national, and street beverage labels. Use them to make your experience smoother.

  • Widely enjoyed across Portugal and internationally recognized.
  • Available in various settings, from cafes to homes and social events.
  • Represent the essence of Portuguese culture and traditions.
  • Most include alcoholic beverages that showcase Portugal’s rich wine-making tradition.
  • Deeply ingrained in Portugal’s history and social fabric.
  • Have historical significance
  • Passed down through generations.
  • Showcase the diversity and richness of Portugal’s regional and culinary heritage.
Port Wine

Port Wine

  • Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

Port wine, or port for short, is a world-renowned Portuguese fortified wine. It is named after Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city.

Port wine is produced with grapes cultivated in the Douro Valley, a famous wine region in northern Portugal as well as one of the world’s oldest.

To make port wine, people rely on aguardente, an alcoholic spirit distilled from grape wine used to fortify wines or make cocktails in Portugal. The preparation of port wine involves adding aguardente to a wine base during fermentation to halt the process and leave residual sugar.

Port wine has higher alcohol content and more complex flavors than other types of fortified wines. Its taste resembles the sweetness of ripe berries enhanced with the nuttiness and bitterness of chocolate and caramel.

The most popular variety is ruby port, which is derived from red grapes and has a deep ruby hue and fruity flavor. This type of port wine can be categorized into common, reserve (premium), and rosé port.

Other types are white port (made from white grapes), vintage port (aged in large wooden vats and later in bottles), and tawny port (amber-hued, can be a blend of vintages, and matured in small casks).

Port wine is an ideal accompaniment to savory yet lightly seasoned dishes and sweet desserts, including cheese, pudim Abade de Priscos, and ovos moles.

Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde

  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Vinho verde is a Portuguese wine hailing from the region of the same name in the north. This region has been producing fine wines for around 2000 years and derived its name from its year-round green foliage and fertile soil.

Although vinho verde literally means “green wine” or “young wine,” it comes in white, red, and rosádo (rosé) forms. This Portuguese wine is known for its crisp, fizzy, fruity, and floral qualities, not to mention its very affordable prices.

Vinho verde is quite light, containing about 8.5 % to 14% alcohol. Portuguese people like to enjoy chilled vinho verde in summer, savoring its crisp taste and bubbly sensation.

Seafood dishes go terrifically with vinho verde, so enjoy it alongside dishes like sardinha assada, amêijoas à Bulhão Pato, peixinhos da horta, and cataplana de marisco.

Super Bock Beer

Super Bock Beer

  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Super Bock Beer is a famous pale lager, widely considered as the most-loved Portuguese beer brand in the world. It was first brewed in 1927 by the Unicer Brewery, which is located in Porto.

Super Bock Beer boasts a crisp taste, creamy foam, deep gold appearance, and a pleasant balance of maltiness and hop bitterness. Its alcohol content is around 5.2%, and there are gluten-free and alcohol-free varieties.

The winner of numerous international accolades, Super Bock Beer is sold in more than 50 countries. This beer makes an ideal choice for casual dishes like francesinha, bifana, and frango assado.

Sangria Wine Cocktail


  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Sangria, “bloodletting,” is a beloved punch drink in Portugal and Spain. In 2014, EU lawmakers passed a labeling law dictating that true sangria can only come from these two Iberian nations.

Like its Spanish cousin, the Portuguese version of sangria consists of regional red wine, local fruits, and a sweetener as the base. This mixed beverage can be sweet, tart, or a mix of both, depending on the ingredients.

Therefore, sangria is a flexible drink that can cater to any palate. While the classic version boasts a ruby red hue, the white variation, known as sangria blanca and made with white wine, often presents a lighter color with shades of gold.

Another version is ponche de sangria, a kid-friendly beverage that replaces alcoholic ingredients with a soft drink.

Sangria is an ideal match for a wide range of savory dishes, especially snacks and appetizers like sardinha assada and peixinhos da horta.

Madeira Wine

Madeira Wine

  • Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

Madeira wine is a famous Portuguese fortified wine hailing from the island of Madeira. Its history dates back to the 15th century, when Madeira was a crucial port for trading ships traveling between Europe and distant lands.

Many ships transported wines, which dramatically changed their flavors for the better due to exposure to high heat and movement during the long voyages. Madeira winemakers eventually discovered the phenomenon and exploited it to develop a new winemaking method.

Madeira wine was born out of this ingenious process. This wine can be aged for a long time, with colors varying from pale gold to rich amber.

The grapes used for making Madeira wine need to be picked earlier, meaning that they are more acidic than typical wine grapes. This fortified wine has high acidity levels and a slight sweetness, with distinctive caramel-like flavor and smoky and nutty notes.

With approximately 18 – 20% ABV, Madeira wine pairs well with many dishes, from savory ones (cozido à Portuguesa and espetada) to sweet desserts (pudim Abade de Priscos). A cheap version of Madeira wine used solely for cooking is also available.

Ginjinha Ginja


  • Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

Ginjinha, or ginja for short, is a Portuguese liquor made from sour cherries. These fruits are known as ginja berries in Portugal and Morello cherries in other countries.

This cherry-flavored liquor first appeared around the early 17th century, created by a Gacilian monk in Lisbon who tried infusing the berries in Aguardente and spices. The resulting beverage was an instant success and has been a Portuguese favorite ever since.

Besides having fruity notes and dark red color from sour cherries, ginjinha also boasts a nice floral fragrance coming from cinnamon. Locals often serve this liquor with fermented, unpitted cherries at the bottom of the glass, a method known as “com elas.”

However, feel free to ask your bartender for a “com fruta” drink (ginjinha without the cherries). Both versions go well with various dishes, especially sweet treats like torta de Azeitão and bola de Berlim.

This liquor cherry-flavored liquor is about 18 – 24 % alcohol and should be enjoyed in small sips. Interestingly, inhabitants in the town of Óbidos may serve ginjinha in small, edible chocolate cups.

Licor Beirao

Licor Beirão

  • Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

Licor Beirão, also known as Beirão, is a Portuguese liqueur that was created in the 19th century as a remedy for stomach ache. It originated in the Beirã region in the country’s north-central region, hence the name: Beirão means“from Beirão.”

Beirão is a fairly sweet double-distilled liquor with 22% ABV. Its recipe is a well-kept secret, but the liqueur has the aromas of various spices and herbs, like lavender, cardamom, and cinnamon.

Outside Portugal, you can find licor Beirão in countries like Brazil, Sri Lanka, and India.

At Portuguese bars, bartenders use Beirão in many cocktails, specifically caipirão (the Portuguese variation of caipirinha) and sangria.

Portuguese people often consume Beirão as a digestif after a hearty or pair it with pastries like pastel de nata and pão de ló.

Aguardente De Medronho


  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Medronho, fully known as aguardente de Medronhos, is a traditional fruit brandy hailing from the rural regions of Portugal. It is made by distilling the fermented sour cherries.

In the past, sour cherries only grew in the wild and were picked solely by farmers who brewed their own brandy, so aguardente de Medronhos wasn’t easy to find. With the arrival of modern technology, however, this strong beverage is accessible to everyone.

Since the alcohol content of Medronho ranges between 40% and 50% (roughly the same as vodka), you should drink it in shot-glass portions.

Medronho boasts a crystal-clear appearance, a smooth texture, and a robust flavor. You can drink it neat or chilled and serve it alongside flavorful dishes like espetada and polvo à lagareiro.

Poncha Portuguese


  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Poncha is a famous Portuguese cocktail hailing from Madeira. It consists of aguardente de cana (a local sugarcane spirit, more commonly known as Madeira rum), honey, sugar, and lemon or orange juice.

Some say poncha dates back to the 19th century when Madeiran fishermen created the drink to ward off colds during their long voyages at sea. Others think that poncha was born out of the Age of Exploration, as sailors brought it with them while going exploring.

Yet another story says that the punch drink brought from India inspired poncha. Anyway, while this Portuguese punch-like beverage is pleasantly sweet and tangy, it is still highly alcoholic and should be enjoyed with plenty of ice.

Portuguese people consider poncha a great flu cure, and they usually drink it when having cold symptoms. They also send poncha as a gift to tourists as a sign of hospitality.

Poncha has inspired a variety of regional adaptations, with additional ingredients like passion fruit (“maracujá” in Portuguese), tangerines, and even tomatoes. Locals often use a wooden muddler called mexelote to mix the drink.

In terms of accompaniments, casual or seafood dishes, like cataplana de marisco, amêijoas à Bulhão Pato, and sardinha assada, pair beautifully with poncha.

Licor de Amendoa Amarga

Licor de Amêndoa Amarga

  • Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

Licor de amêndoa amarga, literally bitter almond liqueur, is a popular Portuguese beverage made from bitter almonds. It is a specialty of Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region.

While bitter almonds contain a dangerous amount of cyanide in their drupes, the people of Algarve discovered long ago that with careful preparation and distilling, they could turn them into an alluring liqueur, thus creating licor de amêndoa amarga.

Portuguese bitter almond liqueur combines sweetness and nuttiness with a touch of bitterness similar to the Italian liqueur amaretto. Often available in a yellow straw color, licor de amêndoa amarga contains about 20% ABV.

The most popular bitter almond liqueur brand you can find in Portugal is Amarguinha, which was founded in 1999. Besides the classic version, it also offers lemon-flavored bitter almond beverages.

I recommend pairing bitter almond liqueur with rich dishes like arroz de pato, açorda, and ovos moles.

Galao Coffee


  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Galão is a creamy coffee beverage that is traditionally served in a tall glass as a breakfast or afternoon treat in Portugal. Some of the most beloved pairings include the iconic pastel de nata, bola de Berlim, and pão de ló.

A typical galão contains one part espresso and three parts steamed milk. If you add more milk than coffee, it will become a galão claro, while galão escuro has more coffee than milk.

Besides galão, there are other popular coffee-based drinks in Portugal, such as bica (an espresso shot pulled to a longer volume than the Italian one) and garoto (espresso with a small amount of foamed milk).

Porto Tonico

Porto Tonico

  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Porto tonico, also known as Portônica, is a Portuguese twist on the classic gin and tonic. This cocktail uses port wine instead of gin and is lighter on the alcohol part than gin and tonic.

However, porto tonico still boasts a tasty blend of sweetness and bitterness with tropical aromas that will captivate any cocktail fan. You can sip it as an aperitif or as a refreshing beverage to share with friends.

Although white port wine is the most popular choice to whip up porto tonico, the red variety is occasionally used for a touch of berry goodness.

Both porto tonico versions are excellent at pairing with Portuguese light dishes and appetizers, such as amêijoas à Bulhão Pato, sardinha assada, and peixinhos da horta.



  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Sumol is a well-known Portuguese soft drink that was introduced to the market in 1945. It is now a product of Sumol + Compal, a large food and beverage company.

Sumol comes in various flavors, with oranges, pineapples, and passion fruits being the most popular. This soft drink uses fresh fruit extract and sparkling water to create a fizzy sensation that tastes incredibly good with any sweet treat.

Casual dishes, such as bifana and frango assado, are the best accompaniments for Sumol. If you want to diversify your soft drink choices, I recommend brands like Laranjada Melo Abreu, Kima Maracujá, and Brisa Maracujá.

Cha Dos Acores

Chá Dos Açores

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Chá dos Açores, or Azores tea, is a refreshing tea beverage in Portugal. It is a specialty of the Azores Islands, one of the few parts of Europe that grows tea.

Tea plantations began in the Azores in the 18th century. Thanks to the volcanic soil conditions, local tea plants don’t need pesticides and are 100% organic.

Tea from the Azores comes in two main groups: black tea and green tea. Both boast a delicate aroma, a smooth flavor profile, and a refreshing aftertaste that go well with various light dishes, such as pastel de nata, torta de Azeitão, and caldo verde.

Do you know that a Portuguese princess was responsible for the British incurable appetite for tea? When Catherine of Braganza, a tea lover, married Charles II of England in 1662, she helped popularize her home country’s exotic beverage in her new country.

Mazagran Lemon Coffee


  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Mazagran, also known as mazagrin, mazaghran, or café mazagran, is a well-liked Portuguese coffee beverage. It originated in Algeria during the 19th century before making its way to Portugal and France.

While mazagran has multiple variants, its Portuguese version’s main ingredients include strong brewed espresso, ice, sugar, and lemon/ lime juice. Rum, soda, and sugar syrup can sometimes be part of the recipe.

With a dark hue, mazagran boasts a delightful combination of strong coffee flavors and a pleasant tang of citrus. Some people describe it as a very sweet Portuguese iced coffee.

Mazagran is typically served cold, occasionally with some fresh mint leaves on top (like a mojito). Popular accompaniments include light dishes like amêijoas à Bulhão Pato, caldo verde, sardinha assada, and peixinhos da horta.

You now have an in-depth knowledge of many specific drinks in Portugal, so let’s take a look at the country’s general beverage scene.

What is Special about Portuguese Beverages?

Special About Portuguese Beverages
Portuguese people have an established history of making wine.

The following factors play a significant role in creating various Portuguese beverages and making them hugely popular.

Geographical Diversity

Portugal’s diverse geography, with its long coastline, river valleys, and mountainous regions, has created a variety of microclimates. This diversity is conducive to the cultivation of different types of fruits, especially grapes.

Maritime History

From the 14th century, Portugal developed a strong tradition of seafaring. Its explorers and traders brought back new plants and spices from Africa, Asia, and the Americas, which have been incorporated into Portuguese beverages.

For example, Portugal was the first European country to experience tea, and it later introduced this then-exotic beverage to the rest of the Old World.

Wine Culture and History

Portugal has a long history of wine production, dating back to at least 4,000 years ago. The country’s winemaking traditions have been influenced by various cultures, from ancient Phoenicians to Romans.

Today, Portugal is one of the world’s largest wine exporters. Many indigenous grape varieties are found nowhere else outside the country.

Cultural Traditions

Portuguese beverages are deeply intertwined with the country’s cultural traditions and social life. Festivals, religious ceremonies, and daily meals often feature traditional beverages, from robust wine to refreshing cocktails and creamy coffee.

To fully appreciate the beauty of Portuguese finest staples, my drink recommendations make the ultimate accompaniments to local food. Try out these refreshments, and let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Don’t forget to share this list of Portuguese beverages with your friends!

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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