Monchique hosts Medronho Festival this weekend

Monchique’s beloved Medronho (arbutus) fruit and the popular alcoholic firewater drink made from it (aguardente de medronho) will be the stars of the town’s 3rd Medronho Festival being held this weekend (November 20-22) at the heliport site.

Promising a number of novelties this year, the council says the event will feature tastings of the “aguardentes” produced locally, as well as exhibitions, workshops, cooking and cocktail demonstrations, and a conference on the “Importance of the Medronho”.

The conference, which will take place on the opening day, will include the presentation of a study conducted by researchers at Aveiro University who found that the fruit can help prevent cancer, control cholesterol levels and improve the health of skin and bones.

For the first time, there will also be a contest to award Monchique’s best medronho firewater, and Santo Antão, a Cape Verdean island that shares a partnership with Monchique, will be showcasing its traditional ‘grogue’ – firewater made out of sugar canes.

“This event comes at an important time when the medronho is proving itself as a versatile product in Monchique. We have gathered the best specialists and producers and want to show that here is where the best medronho firewater is produced,” said Monchique mayor Rui André.

It is the first time that the Medronho Festival will be held as a stand-alone event. In previous years, it was held alongside the Feira do Presunto (smoked ham fair).
The festival is organised by the local council alongside the association of medronho firewater producers (APAGARBE) and the Confraria do Medronho.

Tickets cost €3, or €5 if you wish to attend the conference. Registration should be made by email to infos@cm-monchique.pt