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Arbutus-berry brandy, or medronho as it is traditionally known, is thought to have been produced for the first time in the 10th century by Arabs in the Monchique area. It is still produced in the traditional way, using low heat and copper stills with fine, coiled pipes. Genuine Algarve medronho, with Protected Geographical Indication, is a quality product, with certified distilleries and specific market brands and there are other derivatives too such as melosa, a delicious blend of medronho and honey.

In Monchique, the  Rota das Destilarias (Distilleries Route) and the Casa do Medronho (House of Medronho) in Marmelete give you the chance find out more about this spirit, one of the hallmarks of the Algarve's flavours.