Sir James Aykroyd, who lives in Birstwith, North Yorkshire, has revived Brontë Liqueur, a tipple he first discovered some 40 years ago during a business trip to Paraguay, South America.
As a proud Yorkshireman, with strong family connections to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, in Haworth, West Yorkshire, Sir James was determined to purchase the trade mark and market the drink himself.
Now four decades on, he has managed it – transforming both its look and its taste for a more discerning consumer.
Sir James, who worked in senior roles with Buchanan’s whisky and Martini and Rossi and more recently stepped down as a shareholder and chairman of Speyside Distillers, said:
“Back in 1928 my great grandfather – Sir James Roberts – bought the Haworth village parsonage and gifted it to the Brontë Society. Today that building is the Brontë Parsonage Museum and this is something our family is immensely proud of – I still hold the key to the parsonage’s front door.”
Sir James and Brontë Liqueur Co Ltd plan to market the drink to a younger audience as a mixer for cocktails, and have already devised a series of recipes, including the Brontë Royale, made from the liqueur topped up with champagne and a Brontë Mule -a refreshing mix of Brontë Liqueur, fresh lime and ginger beer served over ice.
The Yorkshire company plans to sell directly to up-market bars and restaurants as well as specialist independent retailers. Contacts with importers in overseas markets have already been made in Scandinavia, Russia, Spain, Japan, UAE, Canada and the United States.
Brontë Liqueur retails in the UK around £27 per 70cl bottle. A percentage of all sales of Brontë Liqueur will be donated to the Brontë Society to ensure that the legacy of the Brontë family endures.