Many really cool and tropical fruits do well in the Azores’ mild climate: pineapples, figs, passion fruit, bananas, and blackberries. You get the idea. Out of this plethora of fruit came a wide mix of local liqueurs made from local fruit. There are many commercially made liqueurs today, but the best known is from Passion Fruit, Pineapple and Blackberry.
The “Mulher de Capote” factory on São Miguel is a family company whose liqueurs are made with 100% natural materials following old local recipes with the best fruits from the islands, carefully selected and aged in oak casks for up to two years.
On Pico liqueurs such as Angelica and fig are celebrated. As is their brandy.
How did this all start? The story goes that in the 19th century when the islands were isolated, and few goods come from the outside world, families would make liqueurs for the holidays. These were more than gifts, they were served to friends and family, in what became known as the Mijinhas - roughly translated “little piss.” The tradition, found nowhere else in the country, was that an invitation to the "Mijinha of the Christ Child " would draw relatives, friends and neighbors to each other's homes and share a drink or two, and the table was always set with figs, raisins, cookies and cakes and people gathered and hung out, talked and laughed.
So, if you are in Ribeira Grande on S. Miguel – stop by the "Mulher de Capote" for a tour and a tasting – it will be just like old times!