Saturday, 21 September 2013

Licor Beirao

Licor Beirao is a Portuguese liqueur with 22% ABV. Its recipe is a trade secret; producer J. Carranca Redondo, Lda. only states it is made from a double distillation of seeds and herbs from all over the world, including Malaysia, Brazil, and Thailand.

Beirao is a Portuguese adjective meaning "from Beira", the name of a former province in Portugal, currently contained within the country's Centro region.

The company J. Carranca Redondo, Lda, producer of Licor Beirao, started in 1940, but the story of the liqueur is much older that. Still without the name “Licor Beirao”, it was already made in a chemist’s in Lousa for over a century.

But this is how the story is told: in the end of the nineteenth century, a Port wine travelling salesman, when passing in Lousa, fell in love for the pharmacist’s daughter and it ended in marriage. At the chemist’s, besides usual medicines, “natural liqueurs” were sold, according to ancient formulas that were kept in secret. In-between, a new law came into force and it prohibited the attribution of medicinal properties to alcoholic drinks. Taking the opportunity, the young man from the North carried through the autonomy of the nectar’s production through the same artisan’s ways in a small factory.

But Licor Beirao’s name doesn’t appear by chance. In 1929 there was a Beirao’s Congress (Beirao is the native or inhabitant of the province of Beira, in Portugal) that took place in Castelo Branco and the liqueur was baptized like that to pay homage to the meeting.

The difficulties brought by the Second World War led to the factory’s sale to a young man from Lousa, Jose Carranca Redondo, who worked there for some time. With a few years more than twenty and, in between, married, he decided to invest his savings in buying the house and the secret, dedicating his life to the liqueur, which started being produced by his wife.

Since then sales never stopped increasing and the liqueur is  nowadays a huge success.


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