Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sweet cordial flavored with fruit kernels or almonds.
  • n. A biscuit flavored with ratafia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A liqueur or cordial flavored with peach or cherry kernels, bitter almonds, or other fruits.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A spirituous liquor flavored with the kernels of cherries, apricots, peaches, or other fruit, spiced, and sweetened with sugar; -- a term applied to the liqueurs called noyau, curaçao, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sweet, cordial flavored with fruits: sometimes limited to those the flavor of which is obtained from black currants, bitter almonds, or peach- and cherry-kernels.
  • n. A kind of fancy cake or biscuit.
  • n. A flavoring essence of which the principal ingredient is benzoic aldehyde or oil of bitter almonds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. macaroon flavored with ratafia liqueur
  • n. sweet liqueur made from wine and brandy flavored with plum or peach or apricot kernels and bitter almonds

Etymologies

French, perhaps of West Indian Creole origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • For the finale, a traditional liqueur called ratafia is steeping basically fruit and spices soaked in brandy for a few weeks, and although declaring herself "not crafty," Curtis is trying gamely to hand-paint teacups.

    The Seattle Times

  • The stronger or less diluted the spirit is taken, the sooner it seems to destroy, as in dram-drinkers; but still sooner, when kernels of apricots, or bitter almonds, or laurel-leaf, are infused in the spirit, which is termed ratafia; as then two poisons are swallowed at the same time.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Or, the Laws of Organic Life

  • Then came trifle, ratafia biscuits, and a baked custard dusted with cinnamon, and three types of cheeses and grapes to finish.

    The Dressmaker

  • A fire was burning in the grate to warm the salon, and ratafia biscuits and a flask of sherry were arrayed on a side table.

    The Dressmaker

  • Right now, Dervishton and Falkland were gallantly arguing over who should fetch her a new glass of ratafia.

    The Laird Who Loved Me

  • Her hand tightened about her glass of ratafia as their gazes locked.

    The Laird Who Loved Me

  • The ladies made themselves at home in the blue sitting room to talk, sip ratafia, and await the arrival of the gentlemen.

    The Laird Who Loved Me

  • Ratafia pudding made with almonds, cream & bread and a sauce of ratafia

    Alexia's London: Supper April 9, 1876

  • Over macaroons and ratafia, the ladies of the DuVal, Branch, and Gamble families made sure that the Browards and the Tuckers were on their side, politically correct on such issues as restricting the movements of free Negroes and pushing the Seminoles—who were a bad influence on all the Negroes, free and slave—off the peninsula.

    Dream State

  • Further fennel fun: I'm trying out a fennel ratafia.

    Partytime

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Comments

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  • Generally, a liqueur obtained without distilling, by simple infusion.

    February 18, 2010

  • Larousse Gastronomique lists ratafia as a term for quince liqueur or quince water.

    February 18, 2010

  • "...they took their coffee and ratafia biscuits (the sea-going equivalent of petits fours) in the great cabin..."
    --P. O'Brian, The Yellow Admiral, 126

    March 19, 2008