Licor Beirão's secret formula was created during the 19th century and is still a Redondo family secret today. It is at the Quinta do Meiral, in Lousã, that the founder's children and grandchildren keep this liqueur's magical taste and aroma alive. Part of the aromatic plants and seeds used to manufacture it are grown on the family farm, which permits total control over its quality. The other ingredients are imported from countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Turkey.
Amber colored and with a perfect drop, Licor Beirão is a Portuguese product with a sweet and unusual taste, which is merged with its enveloping aroma, obtained thanks to a double distillation process of aromatic plants and seeds. Following a secret formula created during the 19th century, Licor Beirão is prepared with natural products. A perfect after-dinner drink, straight up or on the rocks, it is also great for cocktails, bestowing them with its unique character, aroma and taste.
Aroma: The result of a double distillation process of aromatic plants and seeds
Flavor: Sweet, involving, unusual, aromatic plants and seeds
Ideally, Licor Beirão should be savored as a digestive drink, straight up, on the rocks or in cocktails. It is also great in desserts and other baked sweets.
Alcohol by volume: 22% Alc. Vol.
Licor Beirão was born in a magical and mysterious world of sweet emotions and secret formulas that continues to fascinate generations, century after century. The J. Carranca Redondo, Lda. company has been producing the famous Licor Beirão since 1940, but this liqueur’s history is much older than that. Although without the name Beirão, this liqueur was already being produced in a pharmacy in the village of Lousã, well over a century ago.
In an interview with Saudade, the Redondo family unveils a bit of the history of Portugal’s most famous liqueur.
At the end of the 19th century, a Port wine travelling salesman was passing through Lousã when he fell in love with the daughter of a pharmacist: their romance ended in marriage. Besides traditional medicine, the pharmacy also sold «natural liqueurs» based on old secret formulas. In the meantime, a law is passed that prohibits the attribution of medicinal properties to alcoholic beverages. The young man who had come from the northern part of the country took advantage of this opportunity and began to automatically produce those nectars in a small factory according to the same handcrafted process.
However, Licor Beirão wasn’t born on a whim. In 1929, the Beirão Convention was realized in Castelo Branco and the liqueur was baptized in its honor. The hardships brought on by World War II resulted in the sale of the factory in 1940 to a local young man named José Carranca Redondo who had worked there for some time. In his early twenties and a newlywed, he decided to invest all his savings and bought the house and the secret, dedicating his body and soul to this liqueur which his wife began to produce.
Since then, sales never went down and, currently, Licor Beirão is the leading liqueur in Portugal’s market. The Portuguese company exports directly to many markets... According to the Redondo family, Licor Beirão is directly exported to markets such as: Andorra, Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermudas, Brazil, Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxemburg, Macau, Mexico, Namibia, Holland, Poland, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, England and the United States, being present in more than 80 countries.
Licor Beirão is the leading brand name in Portugal’s liqueur market and, thanks to its increasing sales, the liqueur category surpassed, in 2006, the brandy category and is currently the second most important in the spirits market. Studies reveal that the brand presents 100% notoriety and 39% of the time it is Top of Mind. The brand’s rejuvenation is a reality and it’s closely observed by the Redondo family, who treats it just like a member of the family.
During the 1950s, a massive campaign on the streets and in the cafés of Portugal introduced Licor Beirão to the Portuguese. The most iconic poster is the one with a wooden sign with a bird perched on top of it and the Lousã Mountains in the background. More controversial was the poster featuring an American Majorette, which was censured because of her lack of clothing. Another great example of José C. Redondo’s genius vision was a sticker placed in public bathrooms that read «Don’t forget to zip up your pants». Who would of thought that more than 50 years later that is precisely the kind of hip advertising you would expect to see in New York restaurants.
More recent campaigns such as «What do we drink here?» or «Silly Season’s Non-official Sponsor» show that Licor Beirão continues to toast the Portuguese with its great sense of humor and cheeky advertising.In November 2005, during the Portuguese Advertisers Association Efficacy Awards, Licor Beirão was distinguished with a special award that honored the efficacy of its advertising during the 20th century.
Company: J. Carranca Redondo, Lda.
Address: Quinta do Meiral - 3200-095 Lousã
Telephone: 239 991 114
Owners: José, Maria Manuela and Suzana Maria Fernandes de Oliveira Redondo
Founded in: 1940