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RAPA GIOVANNI Liqueurs

cil albic scatolaThe Rapa distillery was founded in 1880 by Giovanni Rapa who already run, producing liqueurs, the family coffee house in the village’s main street, Via Maestra, now Via Galliari.
Giovanni Rapa was an eclectic man, with a versatile talent: besides being a passionate distiller he studied the ancient traditions and he was, too, a very skilful wood carver.
Some beautiful works witness his skill: among them, a Madonna (in the church of Andorno), the portal and the bench (made after the example of the Cà d’Oro in Venezia) that furnished the family store and that are conserved today in the factory.

Giovanni Rapa received many recognitions: he was given a prize from the King Umberto I and the Queen Margherita di Savoia, from the Popes Leone XIII and Pio X; he obtained the patent from the Duke of Genova; in Milano, in 1914, he was decorated with the “Gran Croce” of the “Benemeriti del Lavoro”.

120 years of Tradition

Rapa is one of the oldest distilleries in Italy

120 years after his birth, the distillery Giovanni Rapa continues today its production with the same talent and passion.

The main product was and still is the original Black Cherry Ratafià of Andorno, which Angelo Brofferio in his “Italian Traditions”of 1848 dates back to an ancient legend of the year 1000.

In addition to the black cherry Ratafià, production includes, by faithfully following Giovanni Rapa’s old-time recipes, nuts, juniper and apricot Ratafià, bitters, including Walser, comprising twelve aromatic herbs and the result of an ancient Walser recipe (a population which occupied the slopes of Monte Rosa and its valleys including high Valle Cervo around 1200), herb liqueurs such as genepy and chartreuse, flavoured grappa, and ancient Piedmont traditional liqueurs such as Persico.
  • BLACK CHERRY Ratafià. The writer Angelo Brofferio, in "The Italian Traditions" (1848), writes about the legend of a black cherry liqueur which, in 1000, saved the population of Andorno from the plague, making the marriage of the daughter of the inventor of this liqueur and the son of his most fierce enemy possible. The peace between the two families was thus restored, and the sentence that was pronounced to seal the union between the two young people: "et sic fiat res rata fiat", gave the name to this magical liqueur. In 1700, the chemist Peter Rappis began its home-made production; in 1880 Giovanni Rapa, founder of the distillery, picked up the tradition that still continues in full respect of the old recipes.
    Prepared with the juice of selected black cherries, sugar and spices, it is particularly prized for its sweet flavour. A slight alcoholic content makes it pleasing to everyone. Best served cold, with ice or neat. An excellent ingredient in the preparation of delicious desserts, with fruit salads and ice cream.

  • WALNUT Ratafià, made from a walnut husk infusion in alcohol, is another typical liqueur of Andorno, the home of Ratafià. Like all ancient spirits, the origins are lost in the centuries and remain surrounded by a magical veil of mystery.
    The unripe nuts, wrapped in their husks, had to be collected on the night of 24th June, the day of spells. Infused in pure alcohol with sugar and spices, they were left to rest for a few months. After filtration the liqueur was ready. Giovanni Rapa, founder in 1880 of the same-named Liqueur Company, and who had already distinguished himself in the preparation of liqueurs derived from fruits and herbs, picked up the tradition and devised a recipe for Walnut Ratafià.
    Best served neat or with ice. It is great paired with the finest cheeses; it is an excellent ingredient for preparing delicious desserts, with fruit salads and ice cream.

  • APRICOT Ratafià. Ancient legends trace this sweet liqueur to a hermit who took refuge in a forest not far from Andorno, creating the precious liqueur from the juice of wild fruit and bramble.
    Ratafià, handmade in Andorno since 1700, soon became very famous even beyond the Alps: in 1766, in fact, the well-known "Cuoco Piemontese perfected in Paris" devoted two recipes to the liqueur. In 1880 Giovanni Rapa, founder of the distillery, picked up the tradition which is still handed down in full respect of the old recipes.
    Prepared with the juice of selected apricots, sugar and spices, it is particularly prized for its sweet flavour.
    Best served cold, with ice or neat. An excellent ingredient in the preparation of delicious desserts, with fruit salads and ice cream.

  • JUNIPER Ratafià. Giovanni Rapa, founder in 1880 of the same-named Liqueur Company, and who had already distinguished himself in the preparation of liqueurs derived from fruits and herbs, picked up the tradition and devised a recipe for Juniper Ratafià. Selected juniper berries infused in pure alcohol with rare spices give the liqueur a distinctive and very aromatic flavour.
    Best served neat or with ice. Great in the kitchen for preparing game as it brings out the flavours with its unique fragrance.

  • LEMON Ratafià. The 130 years of experience of the Liqueur Company Giovanni Rapa meets the most fragrant lemons variety "Femminello St. Teresa" from Sicily.
    Thus the Ratafià Andorno lemon liqueur is made, a unique and original flavour and fragrance.

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