The first type of alcoholic beverage is a liqueur or cordial with many different varieties. A typical Ratafia is flavored with lemon peel and spices in various amounts (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, mint, rosemary, anise, etc.), typically combined with sugar. It may also be prepared with peach or cherry kernels, bitter almonds, or other in-season fruits. Other flavorings can be used, such as vegetables and fresh herbs. The liqueur is typical of the Mediterranean areas of Spain, Italy, and north-east of France (Champagne and Burgundy). In the south-central region of Italy (specifically Molise and Abruzzo). Ratafià is made exclusively with fresh cherries and Montepulciano Di Abruzzo wines.
The second type, Ratafia fortified wine, is a type of mistelle, a mixture of marc and the unfermented juice of the grape, and is the type produced in France. There are very few producers of Ratafia fortified wine, maybe as few as three. The fortified wine, one of which is made today in New Mexico by producer D.H. Lescombes, uses Moscato grapes fortified with brandy to stop the fermentation early, which keeps the residual sugar high. The resulting wine is rich and sweet.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ratafia". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Ratafia". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.