Ratafia is a herb liqueur that is very typical in Catalonia. If you've never tasted it, it's time you visited the Ratafia Festival of Santa Coloma de Farners or the Ratafia Fair of Besalú. If you have already tried it, make the most of these two great opportunities to find out all the secrets of this popular drink.
It is said that ratafia has medicinal properties. To the base ingredients of aguardiente (distilled spirit), green walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, various medicinal and aromatic herbs are added, according to the preferences of the ratafia maker. That's why they say there's a different ratafia for everyone and that every home has its own special recipe. Whatever the case, according to the established ritual for producing this liqueur, the herbs should preferably be collected on Saint John’s Eve in order for them to acquire magical properties, and the mixture should be left to macerate outdoors in the sun for a full 40 days.
Now you've been given the low-down, come and visit the Ratafia Festival of Santa Coloma de Farners (second weekend of November) or the Ratafia Fair of Besalú (at the end of November). They both offer activity-filled programmes based around the sweet liqueur: stalls for tasting and purchasing the product, ratafia-making competitions, gastronomic tastings with recipes that include ratafia as an ingredient, and other parallel activities. If you come, drink it in moderation and have a great time! You're sure to be inspired to produce your own home-made version.