Catalan Ratafia liqueur

Ratafía is a traditional Catalan liqueur which goes back more than a thousand years. Recognised as a Geographical Designation, it is popularly said that given that each home makes their own there is a multitude of recipes. This liqueur is made from tender walnuts mixed with various aromatic plants. The mixture is macerated for a minimum of two months, the resulting liquid is then decanted and sugar, alcohol and water is added and it is then aged in wooden barrels for three more months. The final result is an alcoholic drink with an alcohol content of almost thirty percent, caramel in colour and with a sweet flavour with a slightly bitter touch. Ratafía is drunk as an aperitif and a digestif. It is usually drunk very chilled, directly from the freezer. It is ideal for accompanying all kinds of desserts, particularly ice cream. Amongst Catalonia's most emblematic ratafías are Ratafia Bosch, made by the Bosch distillery since 1892 in the town of Sant Quirze de Besora, and Ratafia Russet, the most well-known in the district of La Garrotxa. The exact composition of the latter is a secret which has been kept by the Russet family over five generations. There are various festivals dedicated to ratafía. One takes place in Santa Coloma de Farners in early November and includes a sampling of all the ratafías made in Catalonia as well as a contest. Another takes place in Besalú on the first Sunday in December and also includes a ratafía making contest, however is restricted to the residents of Besalú. Finally the Fira de Centelles, which is usually held during the first weekend in June, also makes room for this liqueur.
All year round

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