Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. To Distribute Tia Maria in the United StatesDecember 11, 2009
Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., the leading privately held spirits and wine company in the United States, today announced its agreement with Illva Saronno S.p.A. for exclusive U.S. distribution rights to TIA MARIA®, one of the leading coffee liqueur brands in the United States and one of the world's most legendary liqueur spirits.
Illva Saronno acquired TIA MARIA in July 2009. With an intriguing history that can be traced back more than 300 years to the island of Jamaica, TIA MARIA is made from a superfine extract of Jamaican coffee and a selection of precious spices. The addition of TIA MARIA expands the Bacardi U.S.A. cordials and liqueurs portfolio to include TIA MARIA, DISARONNO®, BENEDICTINE®, B&B® and DRAMBUIE®.
"TIA MARIA is a natural extension of our cordials and liqueurs portfolio," said John Esposito, president and CEO, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. "It establishes one of the strongest collections of cordials and liqueurs in the industry and we know the combined strength of these brands. Our knowledge of the category will enable us to create great value for our distributors, retailers and Illva Saronno."
"This builds on a long-standing relationship between Illva Saronno and Bacardi U.S.A. that dates back to 1998 when Bacardi U.S.A. began distributing DISARONNO in the United States," said Augusto Reina, CEO, Illva Saronno S.p.A. "Since that time, DISARONNO has grown more than 78 percent and we are excited about the potential for TIA MARIA to achieve similar success as the category continues to grow."
According to legend, the history of TIA MARIA began in the Caribbean in the 17th century, when Jamaica was in the midst of colonial wars. A young woman, owner of a plantation, was forced to flee her home with her chambermaid. In the chaos, her chambermaid just had the time to take her mistress's most treasured possessions - a pair of black pearl earrings and an old manuscript containing the secret recipe for the family liqueur. In gratitude and in memory of her faithful "Aunt" Maria, the young noblewoman named this dark liqueur "TIA MARIA."
Time passed and the recipe and legend were lost, until a prominent scientist and gourmet, Dr. Kenneth Leigh Evans, discovered the missing manuscript. Evans made it his mission to share the smooth and delicious liqueur with the world.
TIA MARIA is best enjoyed on its own, over ice, as an accompaniment to after dinner coffee, with cola or mixed in glamorous cocktails and alluring long drinks.