Illva Saronno, an Italy-based family run company operating in the wines and spirits, ice cream, baked goods, optical lenses and real estate sectors, has selected Kobrand to market and sell its Tia Maria Dark Liqueur in the US.

Effective from 1 August 2012, Kobrand, a New York-based importer and marketer of hand selected brands, will use its wide distribution network to represent the Tia Maria brand in the US under a long-term deal signed by the two firms.

Originated in Jamaica, Tia Maria is a dark drink that is made since over 300 years from an old family recipe.

Under the guidance of Kobrand spirits director John Pennacchio, the company will look after the assimilation, transition, strategic direction and day-to-day management of the Tia Maria brand.

Pennacchio said to meet the needs of the American consumers, the company plans to launch some low calorie cocktails based on Tia Maria Dark Liqueur, which has a history dating back to 17th century and was also part of the original Espresso Martini created by Dick Bradsell.

Kobrand vice president and spirits managing director Tom Congdon said Tia Maria has been a strong presence in both the on-premise and off-premise segment of the industry since its emergence in the 1950s, and with Illva’s strategic global conceptualization, they are confident that the brand’s high profile will capture even greater consumer affection and respect as they go forward.

Kobrand president and CEO Robert DeRoose said while Tia Maria remains a mixologist favorite, it expands its liqueur and luxury after dinner drinks offerings.