What is ratafias??? Thank you so kindly. - Meggie (3/07/02)
- The word, of uncertain origin, came to denote almost any alcoholic and
aromatic water. Flavorings varied widely, from the original ratafia of
morello cherry kernels to such herbs as angelica. Some ratafias were
distilled, others were made by infusion of spices, herbs and fruits in
brandy or eau de vie.
There are actually several meanings for the term:
1. A cordial or
liqueur flavored with the kernels of peaches, apricots, or cherries.
2. An almond-based drink
similar to a cordial. The word indicates a flavor of almonds.
3. Ratafia cakes
and biscuits may be similarly flavored; or they may be so called because
they are intended to be eaten with the liqueur. Trifle is a popular English
cake that is soaked in some ratafias.
History of Ratafias: The legend is that a vine grower probably poured
by error the grape must in a barrel containing brandy. By tasting it much
later, it would have been astonished by quality by this beverage.
Perpetuated by generations of vine growers, Ratafia became the typical
aperitif. American homemakers have been making ratafias, cordials and
liqueurs since colonial times.