Last night. On a bottle of gin.
Not really, but I savoured every ounce.
KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, Flight number 692, Toronto to Amsterdam. First leg of a 24 hour journey to Johannesburg, South Africa.
I noticed Bols Corenwyn – Aged Dutch Genever at the top of the spirits list on the menu as I settled into seat 2G, getting comfortable with the luxuries. In taking my dinner order, the attendants had already established I could not speak Dutch in spite of my name. When asked about a liqueur with my sweet dessert, I stumbled over the pronunciation and pointed to the words.
“Oh! but of course” beamed the server, abandoning her cart and disappearing behind the curtain, returning some moments later with a tiny brown bottle.
“We don’t get much call for this anymore. It is a special one. Corenwyn.”
She twisted off the seal and passed over the classic crockery.
“I cannot buy it in Canada. A Dutch friend would bring me back a bottle whenever he visited the Netherlands.”
“You must visit the distillery in a small town outside Rotterdam whenever you visit Holland” she encouraged before smiling broadly and moving on to the next passenger.
Later, a different flight attendant stopped her cart to clear away the dinner dishes.
“Did you like the Genever?”
“Yes, I love it.”
“Oh! you have tried it before.”
A few minutes later, moments after the lights dimmed, she returned to my pod with an unopened crock. “Save this one for later” she whispered. I slipped it into my bag.
A third attendant noticed my glass, reached in to clear it away before realizing I had not finished.
“I am sorry. Would you like some more whiskey?”
“I am drinking Genever”, sounding more Dutch.
“Oh! Do you like it? Do you want another?”
Excited, she retreated to the front of the plane, returned with a refill and emptied the light amber nectar into my glass.
“Do you like the bottle?”
“It was one of the reasons I bought one the first time.”
“Would you like to keep it? Or maybe next time?”
“Maybe next time.”