Prep Time: 7½ Months
Yields: 10–12 (Fifth-sized) Bottles
Originally a French beverage, Ratafia was embraced by the Creoles. Often various aromatic substances are added to the cordial to add delightful flavors. Any fruit including grapes, berries, apples, pears or oranges may be used in this wine.
10 pounds grapes, berries or fruit
2 gallons inexpensive brandy
3 quarts water
7 pounds sugar
If using berries or grapes, place fruit in a large ceramic crock and smash gently to expose pulp and juice. It is not necessary to crush. Add brandy, cover with cheesecloth and allow to ferment 6 weeks in a cool, dark place. After 6 weeks, bring water to a simmer, add sugar and cook until dissolved. Cool liquid to room temperature then blend well with fruit/liquor mixture. Strain Ratafia once or twice through a double layer of cheesecloth to remove pulp. Be sure all foreign materials are removed. Pour into 10–12 (fifth-sized) bottles. Store in a dark, cool area 6 months prior to drinking. Ratafias may be consumed straight up, on the rocks or blended with crushed ice and club soda.