This a liquor prepared from different kinds of fruits, and is of different colors, according to the fruits made use of. These fruits should be gathered when in their greatest perfection, and the largest and most beautiful of them chosen for the purpose. The following is the method of making red ratafia, fine and soft: Take of the black-heart cherries, 24 lbs., black cherries, 4 lbs., raspberries and strawberries. each, 3 lbs.; Pick the fruit from their stalks and bruise them, in which state let them continue 12 hours, then press out the juice, and to every pint of it add 1/4 lb. of sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, run the whole through the filtering-bag and add to it 3 quarts of proof spirit. Then take of cinnamon, 4 oz., mace, 4 oz., and cloves, 2 drs. Bruise these spices, put them into an alembic with a gallon of proof spirit and 2 quarts of water, and draw off a gallon with a brisk fire. Add as much of this spicy spirit to the ratafia as will render it agreeable; about 1/4 is the usual proportion.
_Dry or Sharp Ratafia._
Take of cherries and gooseberries, each 30 lbs., mulberries, 7 lbs., raspberries, 10 lbs.; Pick all these fruits clean from their stalks, etc., bruise them and let them stand 12 hours, but do not suffer them to ferment. Press out the juice, and to every pint add 3 oz. of sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, run it through the filtering-bag, and to every 5 pints of liquor add 4 pints of proof spirit, together with the same proportion of spirit drawn from spices.
Take of nutmegs, 8 oz., bitter almonds, 10 lbs., Lisbon sugar, 8 lbs., ambergris, 10 grs. Infuse these ingredients three days in 10 galls. of proof spirit and filter it through a flannel bag for use. The nutmegs and bitter almonds must be bruised and the ambergris rubbed with the Lisbon sugar in a marble mortar, before they are infused in the spirit.
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