Ratafià is a generic term used to name a number of different fruit-based homemade liqueurs. It is not a liqueur with a unique recipe, but rather a method that includes the infusion of fruit in alcohol, especially with the addition of spices. Exclusively for our followers gourmets we have a recipe from Carlo Quaglia, a Master Distiller whose family has been producing liqueurs in Piedmont for 4 generations.
We visit Carlo in his artisan workshop during the cherry harvest period. Fruit has been picked in Pecetto, a town not far from the distillery, known for its abundant production of different types of cherries and sour cherries.
“The cherries are kept soaked in alcohol for about 100 days. It takes a lot of time to the alcohol to reach the pit, which will release a delicate fragrance similar to that of almonds.” At this point the cherries will be separated and put in glass jars (another delicacy, traditionally consumed in winter). Carlo continues: “… we will then add in small quantities spices to the liqueur: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and a mix of herbs. Finally we will add cherries and sour cherries juice, diluted with water and sugar”.
The product must rest for another two months before being bottled.
Photo credits: Antica Distileria Quaglia