When you have a whole lotta peaches...
"The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford University Press, 1999) defines ratafia as “a cordial or a brandy-based liqueur flavoured with almonds, peach, cherry, or apricot kernels, or soft fruits.” European and Mediterranean wine-producing countries—including France, Spain, and Italy—each have their own version of the sweet liqueur.
With Louisiana’s French and Spanish heritage, it should come as no surprise that ratafia caught on here. Brandy came to Louisiana through the Port of New Orleans, and with the accessibility of wild fruit throughout the southern part of the state, ratafia became a popular drink among Cajun and Creole families. Nearly every Cajun family made black cherry bounce and other varieties from the abundance of fresh fruit, including blackberries, muscadines, and persimmons.
The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013), which dates to 1901, states, “Our Louisiana fruits are very juicy, and therefore no other liquor than good French brandy is or should ever be used in preparing a fruit Ratafia.” Recipes for ratafia call for fruit to be steeped in brandy for one month before adding simple syrup, filtering, and bottling in pint bottles. - John Folse
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