HERE is the story of how a 15th century drink for Lorenzo the Magnificent of Florence found its spiritual home in Brighton.

Pride of place above the Saint James Tavern in Kemptown is a sign proclaiming it the first in the UK to taste a sweet-liqueur called Tuaca in 1996.

The Argus:

The drink, now believed to be sold in 95 per cent of Brighton boozers, started its life in the city as a drunken bet over a bottle of champagne.

Brighton publican Sammy Berry became hooked on the drink while on holiday in America with her friend, Cassandra.

But when she returned to the UK, she realised there was nowhere to buy it.

Sammy’s boyfriend Poul Jensen then wagered a bottle of Cristal Champagne with Cassandra’s brother to see which of the two would be the first to import a case of Tuaca into the country.

The first cases were flown to UK by plane in October 1996 and cost £466.

The victorious Poul and Sammy then began selling the liqueur in the pub they newly acquired, the Saint James Tavern in Kemptown.

Publican Bob Thompson, who was sitting at the bar when The Argus visited, said he was there when the first cases were cracked open.

The Argus:

The 58-year-old, who used to manage the Prince Albert pub in the Nineties, said: “The reason it’s so popular is that its story is spread through legend.

“ I remember when they first came back and we tried it. I thought that’s good, where do I get it?”

When Tuaca finally made its way through the pub’s optics and into the glasses of the city’s residents, it proved an instant success for those between 18 and 80.

And when Poul and Sammy left the pub in 1999, they began importing Tuaca as a business.

Over the of decades since the drunken bet, Brighton has held the drink to its heart like no other place in the UK.

The Argus:

The current manager of the St James Tavern, Doug Douglass, said it’s the most popular tipple for young and old - outselling standard favourites like vodka and whisky.

He said: “It’s the mystique around it that makes it so affiliated with the city. The sales have always been through the roof.”