Ratafía, la intensa esencia de la naturaleza en un pequeño sorbo - DISEVIL

Ratafia, the intense essence of nature in a small sip

The ratafia . It is a liquor that identifies Catalan culture and is full of tradition, which was passed from generation to generation and is maintained to this day in many regions. Have you ever tried it? In this article we tell you everything about this drink based on plants and berries.

The story behind the ratafía

This magnificent liquor had its origin, according to history, in Italy and then spread to Spain and France. Here it was adopted by Catalonia, where the oldest recipe was found, which dates back to 1842. At that time the macerated drink was used by monasteries and towns to cure diseases, since they found that alcohol powerfully extracted the medicinal properties of plants.

Since 1989, the Catalan ratafía has had the Geographical Denomination seal and its name, according to some sources, would come from the Latin expression “rata fiat”, which means “so be it”, and which was used to confirm an agreement or verbal treatment.

This liquor was made mostly in pagès houses, it was generally women who collected the medicinal plants to make it, and among many other medicinal uses it was used to soothe menstrual pains, for this reason it was one of the few liquors that was allowed to be drunk at home. women. Each recipe was unique, so each family kept theirs with suspicion and passed it down from parents to children so that the tradition was maintained. Now, homemade ratafía is still prepared, especially in the regions of Santa Coloma de Farnès, Girona, Lleida, Centellas, among others that make up inland Catalonia.                  

How is ratafía made?

The beginning of the preparation of ratafía is marked by Saint John's Day, at the end of June, a time when there are green nuts and aromatic herbs bloom. It is said, as part of the tradition, that the nuts must be collected on the night of that celebration, which is when the nuts are at their optimal moment, the nuts are what give this dark color characteristic of ratafía .

These fruits are mixed with some type of brandy or aniseed and aromatic herbs such as peppermint, thyme, cloves, sage, basil, anise, rosemary, lemon verbena, chamomile, mint, lavender, rose petals, pink mallow, among other plants. that nature gives us. Lemon or orange peel is also included. All the ingredients depend on each recipe.

This combination is allowed to rest under the sun and the moon, that is, outdoors, what is commonly called "sun and serene" , in a container normally made of glass, type demijohn, with a cork stopper or closed with a cloth, so that can breathe for approximately forty days, some macerate it for up to two months. It is necessary that the mixture be stirred every four or five days.

After that time, in mid-August or so, the ratafia is filtered with great care and patience to place it in wooden barrels or glass bottles, in which sugar, water or alcohol can be added, depending on taste and the graduation that each one wants. These containers are then stored in cool places for approximately three more months.

This process may vary depending on the producer of the drink. The trick is to add or remove ingredients each year until we find the perfect recipe that suits our taste.

Ratafia pairing

Ratafía has a sweet flavor and a more or less intense caramel color. It is consumed at room temperature after dinner, as it is digestive, and very cold as an aperitif or drink. It is perfect to have with nuts, cookies or desserts.

This drink keeps for a long time, so there is no problem if we save it. Would you like a sip? You know, you can start preparing it or buy one already made in our online store , where we offer ratafías from different brands and at the best prices. Don't miss the opportunity to taste a liqueur with a lot of flavor and sweetness!

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