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Centuries-Old Liqueur Seeks New Renaissance From TV Ads

January 15, 2013

Rooted in the Italian Renaissance, vanilla-citrus liqueur brand Tuaca did not make its way to the U.S. until centuries later, propelled by interest from American soldiers who drank it abroad during World War II. But from there, Tuaca's U.S. history gets a little cloudy, with competing accounts emerging from the brand's two biggest states.

"If you talk to people in Texas they'll say that a bartender ... picked the brand up off the shelf one day and it was dusty and [he] started drinking it and then passed it out to all his friends, and they started promoting it and that's how the brand got big," said Tracey Johnson, who runs the brand for owner Brown-Forman. "But if you talk to the Colorado people, they tell you that it got picked up by a bartender and it got really big in the mountains and all the people who vacationed in the mountains from Texas took it to Texas."

The only agreement, it seems, is that "bartenders built it [with] guerilla grassroots efforts," she said. "It really has been a bartender's brand."

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