Regionalarte Handicraft Production - Liqueurs from the Algarve, Portugal
Part of my "Made in Portugal" series
Part of our experience living in Portugal includes finding locally produced products. I enjoy finding new and different things from small producers, artisans or shopkeepers – be it a piece of artwork, an embroidered linen, a small urban winery, a specialty food or herb/spice, a handcrafted item, handcrafted soaps and scents, or any number of other things made in Portugal. I believe it’s important to introduce these products to readers of Our Portugal Journey because these local items are part of the fabric and history of this charming little country.
Too often, small businesses don’t get the attention they deserve. I’ve noticed especially in Portugal, there are many little businesses no one outside of the local community knows about. It’s hard to have extra cash for an advertising budget or even the time to correctly manage a social media marketing campaign. I get that. Having been a small business owner myself, as well as having worked in the travel, hospitality, and tourism industry for many years in Rhode Island, I feel a connection to these hard-working and creative people. So, every so often, I’m going to profile some of our finds here on this blog. I’m calling this occasional series, “Made in Portugal.”
I personally place an online order or visit with these businesses, so I can describe my experience to you. Today I’m introducing to you Regionalarte Handicraft Production.
An ancient settlement
Located in the central Algarve is São Marcos da Serra. This village lies within the municipality of Silves and is considered to be an ancient settlement dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries. This is a typical mountainside Algarve village with white limewashed dwellings and narrow streets. The Odelouca River sweeps around it and ends at a large reservoir. According to the village website, in 2011, the population was 1,354 residents.
The church (to the left of the above screenshot) is the focal point of the village and dates to the 17th century. The building is constructed in the unique-to-Portugal Manueline Style and has influences of the Renaissance, Gothic, Moorish, and Byzantine eras.
The village has all the basic necessities including small grocery stores, a bank, cafés and restaurants, a pharmacy and hardware store, and some retail shops. There are also small vans that deliver fresh produce, baked goods, and fish directly to the village residents.
Thanks for reading Our Portugal Journey! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
The bottle I purchased.
Occasionally, Paul and I like to sip a good glass of Port or cognac after a nice dinner, especially in the cooler months. During the holidays in 2021, I was searching for something different in a liqueur to try and came across Licor de Alfarroba. I was curious about the honey-amber colored liquid with a cork top, and I was attracted to the shape of the bottle and the simple label. The fact that it was produced in Portugal was a plus.
This is a sweetened brandy made from carob and is processed through the maceration of fruit for a specified amount of time. It is then filtered, and sugar is added.
It’s recommended to be served cold, which is how we served it to our friends and fellow bloggers, Mike and Mary after dinner one evening. This is a smooth liqueur that goes down easily. The carob flavor was subtle and not overly sweet with a soft, lingering finish. Everyone enjoyed it!
Regionalarte is a family operation with a small distillery. They specialize in the production of arbutus brandy, which is brandy made from the Medronho tree (Arbutus unedo), also known as the strawberry tree. It’s a small evergreen shrub which bears fruit that somewhat resembles a strawberry. Medronho brandy is highly aromatic with a high alcohol content.
The family carries on the tradition of producing this brandy using both traditional techniques handed down from generation to generation as well as modern methods in accordance with current alcohol-production regulations. They decided to expand their offerings by making liqueurs using different fruit flavors including fig, blackberry, and almond.
This is a YouTube video, produced 11 years ago but it’s the best video I’ve found about the company. It’s in Portuguese, but interesting just to watch.
As my list of places to explore in Portugal expands weekly, and now that we own a car, this is one place we’ll definitely travel to in the future.
Name: Licor de Alfarroba 17% alc
Producer: Regionalarte Handicraft Production, Ltd.
Products: Liqueurs, Brandies, Piri-Piri, Honey, among other regional products of the Algarve.
Price: About 10.00€
Where to Purchase:
The distillery appears to sell their products to the public:
S. Marcos da Serra
B. Montinhos 17-19, S. Marcos da Serra
If you live in Portugal, it is available online at Auchan under the Beverages and Wine Cellar category in the sub-category of Spirits Drinks.
It can also be purchased through Portugal Vineyards. They ship to several countries. You can contact them to inquire about shipping to countries outside of the European Union.
Other local Portuguese wine and spirits shops may also carry this product.
Do you know of any interesting, small businesses in Portugal I should explore? Drop me a comment and I’ll add it to my list.
Thanks for supporting Our Portugal Journey. My blog is free to subscribers. If you like my work, consider buying me a coffee (or a glass of wine), or simply share my blog with others. Whichever way you choose to support my work, I deeply appreciate it!
Until next time…