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CocktailsThe Bacardi Family History

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Posted on the 11 June 15

In 1862, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, set out to create a rum like no other. He spent the next decade perfecting blends that he was proud to serve (don’t worry our Cantineros are a lot faster than that). He never settled, always looking for ways to improve his product.

Now, 153 years later that passion is as relentless as ever. And that’s exactly why this month’s Rum Club is all about Bacardi.

So let’s start at the beginning, and discover the story of Bacardi, the rum that redefined the cocktail culture across the world.

Despite being totally broke, Don had faith that he could change the face of rum. For the first 40 years, it operated on the verge of bankruptcy, kept alive by Don’s wife, Amalia who heavily invested her inheritance.

The Bat

It was also Amalia who suggested using a bat for the now legendary company logo, after noticing a colony of fruit bats hanging from the distillery’s rafters.  Soon this revolutionary, smooth-bodied rum became known as “the rum of the bat.”

The legend of El Coco

Another symbol of Bacardi is the  El Coco, a coconut palm planted prominently at the opening of the distillery by the founder’s son. As its roots took hold so did a popular legend: “… the Bacardi company will survive in Cuba so long as the coconut palm lives …”

The symbol of freedom

During the 1890s, Don Facundo’s third son, Jose, opened an office in the city of Havana. It was here that the classic Cuba Libre was born, a symbol of freedom. In 1900, American soldiers celebrating victory after the Spanish-American War requested their Coca-Cola be mixed with Bacardi rum. They toasted to a free Cuba.

The Havana party

Even when faced with prohibition, Bacardi accepted the challenge, instead positioning Cuba as the exotic escape from a dry life and the only place to party.  Even a major airline encouraged people to “Fly to Cuba and bathe in Bacardi rum.

Bacardi now has a huge range of rums, each paying tribute to Don Facundo Bacardí Massó and the legacy of his rum. And you can try them neat, on ice, or mixed into one of our delicious Cuban-inspired cocktails in our rum bars around the UK. Go on, you know you want to. After all, you’d be tasting a part of history, right?


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