Rata Fiat is a Latin based word which was used in Catholic wedding ceremonies to pronounce the wedding ratified; “rata” meaning “official” and “fiat” meaning “let it be done”. The term Ratafia eventually became synonymous with grouping of two things; the Ratafia then got yet another definition, the infusion of a base spirit, such as wine or brandy with fruit. Has there been a more successful marriage than that of Brandy and berries? One cannot be sure so let your guests decide for themselves.
Brandy was originally brought to Louisiana through the Port of New Orleans, and today, the team at Restaurant R’evolution utilizes their “swamp floor pantry” culinary mantra – which is seen in the Cajun and Creole fine dining menu by Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto – to create their own ratafia for cocktails.
“Ratifia is fruits great leap into immortality the same as cheese is milks great leap,” quotes Chef Folse. “And in that way we always remember the past and pay homage to it. Whether it be the fruit from last summer or the traditions from decades past. In the spirit of the Catholic marriage ceremony of ‘Rata Fiat,’ we humbly attempt to marry the present and past. We always use local fruits and use traditional recipes when making our ratafia at R’evolution.”
Folse tells us the fruits that R’evolution uses for this process include berries, muscandine grapes, anna apples, persimmons, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and citrus. “In a stone crock, fruit is covered with brandy; the crock is then covered with cheese cloth and stored in a cool, dark place. We let it sit for no less than six months, upon which simple syrup is added to the desired sweetness level and the fruit is strained out. Or, you can add no sugar at all and use it as a mixer in other cocktails, or as a strong beverage to sip on,” Folse tells us.
While it may take a decent amount of time to properly create Ratafia, it is certainly working for R’evolution. Therefore, as we head into summer this is something to think about creating so it is ready for your holiday cocktail menus. Currently, the restaurant is featuring Persimmon Ratafia in the Belle Epoqhe cocktail; the recipe is seen below.
1 oz. Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon
Combine Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Ratafia, and Simple in dry shaker, add ice, shake and pour in chilled champagne flute, top with Sparkling Wine and garnish with lemon peal.