Coffee in company
Share a comforting cup of coffee with your closest friends in this traditional friendship cup all the way from Italy's Val d'Aosta
There's no need for alarm. We're not inciting you to partake in illegal acts. A grolla is the traditional cup of friendship used in the valley. It is a deep, wide wooden bowl complete with a number of spouts. The idea is that you drink from your spout and then pass on the bowl. Legend has it that the grolla is a direct descendant from the mythical Holy Grail. So gather round good knights, for some of the Val d'Aosta's famed tipsy coffee.
Caffè Valdostano for 4:
First make four generous cups of expresso coffee. Add 2 glasses of grappa, lemon peel, four spoonfuls of sugar, and a glass of Genepy - a traditional liqueur from the area - you can use red wine if you don't have Genepy. Heat through and pour the piping hot liquid into the grolla. Hold a lit match in front of the spouts - you should see a bluish flame - blow it out and enjoy your steaming cup of coffee. Be careful not to burn your tongues!
If you haven't a grolla don't despair. Make do by heating the mixture in a small saucepan over a camping stove which you can place in the middle of the table. Stir until heated through. Set alight then fill a ladle with the coffee and pour it back into the saucepan through the flame, taking care not to burn yourselves. Serve in previously warmed cups which have been dipped into sugar.
Take a look at some of these traditional handcrafted grollas as well as selection of other local woodcraft.