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January 21, 2013 / Bacardi Cuba

Bacardi Limited: In the Beginning

People recognize the signature fine, dry taste of BACARDI rum throughout the world. Today, the multi-billion dollar company sells hundreds of millions of bottles in close to 100 countries.

But it was not always so. In the early 1800s, not many considered rum an upscale drink as, for the most part, it was manufactured cheaply and not offered at finer establishments. It was in 1830 that wine merchant Don Facundo Bacardí Massó emigrated from Catalonia, Spain, to Cuba. Although he initially imported and sold wine, he soon acquired an ambition to produce superior rum for the discerning palate.

In an effort to create the light-bodied and smooth liquid the world now knows as BACARDI rum, Don Facundo labored to create a signature formula that involved aging the rum in oak barrels and filtering it through charcoal. These processes both mellow the spirit and rid it of various impurities.

Ambitious and satisfied with his formula, Don Facundo decided to market his product on a larger scale. In 1862, he spent 3,500 pesos on a small distillery in Santiago de Cuba. Containing a cast-iron and copper still for the rum, the distillery also housed fruit bats in its rafters. At this time, the company needed a recognizable logo, and Don Facundo’s wife, Doña Amalia, suggested the fruit bat, which to this day graces every bottle of BACARDI.

Don Facundo watched his hard work pay off, receiving three international medals for excellence. Upon retirement, he left the signature company formula to his son Facundo, and the company itself to his oldest son, Emilio. A family-owned company since inception, BACARDI now has a board of 16 directors headed by Don Facundo’s great-great grandson, also named Facundo.

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