the recipe of the liqueur with black cherries – Italian Cuisine

It is an ancient and noble liqueur, also celebrated by Gabriele D'Annunzio. It is the Abruzzo ratafia, also excellent for home-made cocktails. Here is the recipe

It was called "the liquor of notaries", but today it is very popular with women. Of the ratafia there are traces of Abruzzo since the mid-nineteenth century, when the Teramo writer Alessio de Berardinis linked the elixir based on black cherries and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo to the signing of the deeds. Hence the phrase: ut rata fiat. A handshake and a toast with a glass of "Morlacco blood", an effective name created by that ante litteram advertiser who was Gabriele D’Annunzio.



"When the word was worth more than a thousand contracts, the intense red color of the ratafia symbolized a sort of pact of blood between two people," says Anna Iannetti, soul of the laboratory of artisan spirits Scuppoz (dialect term that evokes the sound of the glass that pops) in the Teramo hinterland, which carries on with her husband Adriano Cicconi a research work linked to the typical features of the area. «Our ratafia is decidedly less sweet than the Spanish one and less spicy than the French one, we don't use syrups and we manage to get the right balance between the body of the wine and the sour note of the black cherries. It should be sipped fresh and has an alcohol content of 18 ° , explains the producer.


LˑAB Abruzzese Liquoreria

From the hills of Teramo to those of Chieti where for three years Giuseppe Simigliani, a degree in engineering and professional experience around Europe, has returned to the land, enhancing a cultivation of Amarene from Pescara. We are in Ripa Teatina, 300 meters above sea level with a breathtaking view between the Adriatic and the Majella. «After replanting this local variety, small and dark flesh, thanks to the scions of wild black cherries, today I work one hectare that I use for my Animarena: no fruit syrups, no natural flavors, only black cherries harvested at the end of spring and put at macerate in tanks with a Villamagna Doc. For the rest, our secret ingredient is time. And the ratafia lends itself to a long aging , says Simigliani who, with his laboratory LˑAB Abruzzese Liquoreria, exports its products to Australia.

Collins ratafia
Collins ratafia

Tommaso Mauro's cocktail: the recipe

Meditation, digestive, thirst quenching liqueur. The ratafia is decidedly versatile. And it can turn into an excellent basic ingredient for making homemade cocktails. Tommaso Mauro, globetrotter chietino, barman and sake sommelier, offers readers of "La Cucina Italiana" the Collins ratafia with 3.5cl of Abruzzo ratafia, 3.0cl of Gin J7 from the Jannamico di Lanciano distillery, 1.5cl of pink grapefruit juice, 1.5cl of lime juice, 3 drops of grapefruit bitter, a lemon peel, soda water. Pour all the ingredients except the soda into a shaker, add the ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a Collins Glass (tall and narrow glass) full of ice, add the soda, squeeze the lemon peel in order to extract the aromatic oils and leave the peel in the glass.

The preparation of a homemade ratafia which in Abruzzo is a tradition almost like limoncello in Campania requires much more work and patience.

Ratafia: Anna Iannetti's recipe


1 kg of black cherries

1 liter of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, 300 g of sugar, 300 g of alcohol, 1 stick of cinnamon.


Wash the cherries, dry them and remove them from the core. Put them in a glass mouth with a wide mouth, add the wine and cinnamon. Macerate the mixture, possibly exposing the container to the sun for 40/50 days. Filter the liquid with cheesecloth, add the sugar, mixing well for a couple of days and add the alcohol. Leave to rest for a few days and proceed with the bottling of the liqueur. Which should be drunk no earlier than 4/5 months.

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