Prep Time: 6 Months
Yield: 10-12 fifth-size bottles
Ratafias are pleasant beverages much affected by the Creoles and are very easily prepared by the infusion of the juices of fruits or of the fruits themselves, nuts and odorous flowers, in good French Brandy. To these are often added various aromatic substances capable of imparting a delightful flavor to the liqueur.
10 pounds grapes, fruits or berries
2 gallons inexpensive brandy
3 quarts water
7 pounds sugar
If using berries such as grapes, blackberries, blueberries, etc., place the fruit in a large ceramic crock and bruise gently to expose pulp and juice. It is not necessary to crush. Add brandy, cover with cheesecloth and allow to ferment for 6 weeks in a cool, dark place. After 6 weeks, make a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar in 3 quarts of simmering water. When cooled to room temperature, blend well with the fruit/liquor mixture. When well blended, strain through a double layer of cheesecloth to remove the pulp. Strain once or twice to make sure all foreign materials are removed from the ratafia. Bottle in approximately 10-12 fifth-size bottles. Place 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 soda water.