Around that time, the friars of Arrábida (arrábidos – as they became known) had already explored and taken advantage of the flora surrounding the convent, having developed the recipe of a liqueur with excellent digestive and healing properties. By preserving it as liqueur, they could enjoy it for a longer period of time.
In 1834, the King Pedro IV decreed the suppression of religious orders in Portugal, forcing all religious to abandon convents and clerical properties. Some of the friars went into exile and a few were sheltered by a wealthy family which lived in the vicinity, including the friar who made the liqueurs, the guardian of the recipe. They continued to produce the liqueur in the farm where they ended up living. When the friar who made the liqueurs left to the convent of his religious Order in Spain, the family inherited not only the knowledge of how to make the liqueur but also the recipe itself, naming it Arrabidine.
In 1950, when the young Emídio Fortuna, from Quinta do Anjo, became aware that the recipe was for sale he bought it, as well as the assets of the friar: including the last original bottles produced amongst the family and the [original] vats, the same where Arrabidine still rests today.
By studying the formula, Emídio realised that Arrabidine would only continue to be an exceptional digestive liqueur if he would maintain the original production method and the source of raw product, undoubtedly the flora of the Arrábida Hills. Only by doing so the liqueur would continue to be the authentic “Secret of the Monks of Arrábida”.
As he registered the brand that same year , he kept the original name but added the accolade, for which it is still known and registered since then: Arrabidine – The Secret of Arrábida’s Monks.
In the decades that followed, others were the liqueurs which were part of this family business and familial activity, always keeping its focus on the soft drinks. In the 1980’s, along with the decision to industrialize the production of soft drinks, Emídio tried also to thrive in the production of liqueurs. However, this ended up being suspended for commercial purposes, in the middle of that same decade.
Even so, we did not stop making Arrabidine from time to time – to keep the tradition; since it is a family jewel, and also to share the knowledge and the flavour.
Today, Arrabidine is the property of Lima Fortuna, a company owned by the granddaughter of Emídio, and having his son in charge of the liqueur making. It still produces Arrabidine exactly according to the original recipe.
Arrabidine is one of the few liqueurs that was never interrupted. Its knowledge was passed down from generation to generation, from family to family, from social stratum to social stratum, but they all intended that the liqueur was the Arrábida Hills in liquid state.
Therefore, we place the date 1834 on our special edition bottles, to celebrate the moment in which the liqueur stopped being an exclusive drink for friars – leaving behind the walls of the Convent – and became traditional.
We are the House of Arrabidine, where the nectar is made by those who prepare it better and make it greater, keeping the genuine roots of a conventual liqueur according to a centuries-old tradition.