Food Friday : Glayva, Vintage Barware and a Funny Story

I thought I’d change things up a bit for this week’s food post. Rather than have a recipe I’d like to talk about a drink.

It’s called Glayva and is something that I really enjoy, but very rarely have, the reason being that it is hard to find here. It is a scotch liqueur that I first had in Britain, but haven’t had since our last trip there 6 years ago.

Well, that is until Nick found a bottle at a new store that has opened in the neighbourhood. (Here in Ontario we can only buy alcohol at government regulated outlets and licensed bars. And while they are quite standardized in their offerings, they do vary in the products they carry.)

So anyway, after searching the shelves for this elusive liqueur for years, a bottle was finally found! It has been rationed carefully, to be savored when the moment is exactly right. I admit to hiding ‘my’ bottle in a special place, though, not being one to drink alone, have offered Nick a few drinks of it!

Why the big fuss about this drink? Its appeal for me goes back to an early job, where a group of my colleagues and friends would get together after work in the boardroom once a week, for a scotch tasting. Every week someone would bring a bottle of their choice and they’d each have their little glass of it and go on about the particular attributes of that special liquid. Thing is … I absolutely dislike the taste of scotch! I like the smell and have tried to acquire a taste and appreciation for it, but no. Not at all tasty to me.

Nick enjoys it, and I buy him a good bottle for his birthday every year, researching my choices and asking the opinion of connoisseurs. To go with his gift I also scan the thrift-store shelves for nice glasses that he can use to drink his scotch. In fact, we even have not one, but two, beautiful small pitchers that are meant to contain the water that some scotch drinkers add to their drink.

So the answer to why I’m so keen on Glayva. Well, it is made of scotch but is sweet and delicious, and can be consumed in that perfectly sized glass that is not really the right size for anything else I like to drink. It is my answer to scotch.

Here’s a funny story about Glayva. When we were last in London, we were fortunate to have the use of a friend’s father’s flat for our stay, except for the week-end, when it was needed by the family. It wasn’t until the last minute that we found out we had to vacate, so hotel rooms were slim pickings. We ended up staying at Faulty Towers. Well, not really Faulty Towers, but the place was so remarkably like it that it was quite hilarious.

After being shown to our room we quickly unpacked a few things, including our half consumed bottle of Glayva. Then, going to use the restroom, I noticed some large size crystals in the bottom of the toilet. ‘What are those?’, I wondered, thinking maybe this was some sort of special way of disinfecting or something. I had no idea. I called Nick in to have a look. ‘Hmmm, different country, different ways of cleaning toilets’, we thought. I decided to wait to see if they were going to melt away.

While waiting, we decided to have a shot of Glayva. Heck, we were on vacation! So I went into the washroom for the drinking glasses. This is when I noticed that there was only one. There are usually two glasses in hotel rooms, right? Well, you guessed it, said ‘crystals’ in the bottom of the loo were actually the smashed second drinking glass!

Anyway, we still had a shot, sharing the same glass, and then headed out. On our way we had to explain to the John Cleese character (I swear!) the predicament in our room. ‘What’s that? A broken glass … in the toilet you say? It was there when you got here? My oh my.’

I am certain that he thought we were the ones to break the glass, and were now fibbing about it. Especially after entering our room to remedy the situation and spying our half finished bottle of booze sitting on the side table!

How about you? Do you like scotch? Have you ever tried Glayva?

Wishing you a happy week-end, and cheers!
xo loulou