Glayva was created by the wine and whisky merchant Ronald Morrison in 1947 in the port of Leith, Scotland. Morrison was looking to create a liqueur to warm and comfort his customers throughout the harsh Scottish winters. The trade at the local port gave him easy access to exotic ingredients like tangerines, honey and spices which he blended with malt whisky.
Glayva takes its name from Morrison's warehouseman's reaction upon first tasting it. "Gle Mhath", he exclaimed, a Gaelic expression meaning "very good". Clearly, others agree with his sentiment and the drink has stayed true to the recipe since.