Gastronomy & Wine

Catalan ratafia

Catalan ratafia is a rich and aromatic nut liqueur that belongs to the vast category of ancient ratafia liqueurs, mostly associated with the Mediterranean countries. It originated as a homemade drink made from readily available ingredients and without a specific recipe. Recipes were usually passed down from generation to generation. Catalan ratafia is made by macerating unripe green walnuts in aguardiente (distilled spirit). Additional ingredients may include various fruits and herbs. It always includes lemon verbena, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, while citrus peel, bay leaf, chamomile, and fennel are also common. Ratafia can be consumed neat or with ice. It is an excellent aperitif or digestif, but can also be served with desserts, nuts or dried fruits, and is sometimes used as a culinary ingredient. According to ancient belief, herbs picked on the morning after St. John’s Eve (June 23) will have the best properties for making ratafia.

Julia Chesnokova for Hotel Alabriga

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