Year after year, the second weekend of November, the population of Santa Coloma de Farners dedicates a Festival to the Ratafía liquor and this year celebrates the 35th edition of the Festival of this centenary drink during the 11th, 12th and 13th of November.

This weekend is the beginning of the season to taste the Ratafía after the green walnuts and other herbs have been macerated in the sun for 40 days. In addition to tasting the ratafia, you can try many other products made with this drink, participate in activities and much more. If you want to know more details of the Ratafía Festival in Santa Coloma de Farners see this link.

The ratafia is the most representative liquor of Girona regions, among other regions of Catalonia, which is made from the maceration in brandy of fruits, herbs, roots, and species of the area. It is a drink traditionally made at home, and each family had its own recipe (there are recipes that are made with more than 100 ingredients) passed from generation to generation.

We leave you a basic recipe of ratafia in case you dare to do at home:

You will need a large glass bottle with a wide neck (with more liters capacity than liquor you will use), a knife, gloves (to avoid staining your hands with the green walnuts) and a good dose of patience!

Ingredients:

  • Green walnuts (3 walnuts per liter of spirits).
  • Brandy or sweet anise.
  • Sugar (500g per liter of brandy). If you use sweet anise, do not put sugar, since it already has sugar.
  • Herbs, such as mint, thyme, rosemary, fennel, oregano, sage, nettle, citronella, tarragon, chamomile, basil, elderberry, orange blossom, tile, etc.
  • Species such as pepper, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, star anise, licorice, ginger, cardamom, etc.
  • You can also put fruits, such as orange, lemon, blueberries, blackberries, etc.

The amounts of herbs and species depend on the taste of each. Keep in mind to reduce the amount of those that have a more intense flavor, so that they do not predominate over the others.
We mix everything inside the bottle covered with a cloth and leave it 40 days in the sun (outside, but sheltered from the wind and rain). After 40 days you strain it and, if necessary, rectify it with sweetness or graduation with mineral water, you let it rest for a couple of months. After this time you re-strain and bottle.

If you are lazy to make your own ratafia or you want to discover more secrets, you can always go to the Ratafia Festival in Santa Coloma de Farners where, in addition to tasting it, you can buy it already made!