One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A liqueur flavoured with almonds or the kernels of peaches, apricots, or cherries.
- ‘The recipe for Bakewell Pudding given by Eliza Acton was essentially a rich custard of egg yolks, butter, sugar, and flavouring - ratafia is suggested - poured over a layer of mixed jams an inch thick and baked.’
- ‘Among these are ‘Lynn’ glasses, and ratafia glasses which for some reason have also escaped the attention of the forger.’
- ‘Very narrow flutes are called ratafias - after ratafia, a concoction popular in the mid 18th century.’
- 1.1count noun An almond-flavoured biscuit resembling a small macaroon.
- ‘Very small almond biscuits are still manufactured under the name of ‘ratafias’.’
- ‘If I can get them, I also like the addition of ratafia or amaretti biscuits soaked with the sponge for texture and that almond flavour.’
Late 17th century: from French; perhaps related to tafia.
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