jeropiga!

We had some busy weeks lately, with many friends staying with us - it is lovely and brings us so much joy! And then, being back to the two of us is like finding eachother again and having a deep breath.This time we used these days to make our annual batch of jeropiga. Jeropiga is a traditional alcoholic drink made from freshly pressed grape juice and aguardente - much sweeter and also much stronger than wine. It's made in different ways according to the region. We make ours the way the old people in the village do.

It's very fascinating the fact everything in this is about grapes. The aguardente is made by distillating the rest of the grapes that were used for the wine (so the one we used was made a year ago). It's such an amazing fruit, and through generations people have learnt to take the most advantage out of it.

So, three parts of grape juice and one of aguardente equals heaven!

We tried to do it a bit better than last year. Harvesting was as fast as a couple hours, since we only picked the grapes from the Tapada da Ribeira. We knew from the beggining we didn't have that much aguardente, so better to keep it simple. Last year we made around 20 litres (ah, amateurs!), this year was around 60 (getting better).

This time we separated the white from the red grapes, in order to have two different jeropigas.

jero

And a few more buckets.

jero13

jero2

Shtomp shtomp shtomp

jero3

jero4

jero5

We then filtered it twice and let it rest for one day.

jero6

Adding some spirit to the plain juice...

jero9jero7

And bottling!

jero10

It's beautiful to see the different colours.

After filling all the small bottles we stored the rest in 5 l bottles.

jero11

jero12

They look really nice. We were super proud! And then... Mistake: we didn't let it rest enough after adding the aguardente. The result is that layer of deposit you see, specially in the red ones. Then we considered emptying the bottles into a bucket and letting it rest for a couple days. Actually we went a bit farther than just considering it, but as soon as we emptied two of the thinner ones we realized we couldn't re-capsulate them after! Ahah :D That's ok.

Next year will be better.

Meanwhile we have some extremely delicious jeropiga to comfort us. (If only one could drink homemade alcohol during pregnancy...)