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About Bacardi Cuba

Bacardi Cuba logoOne of the most ubiquitous names in rum production today, Bacardi traces its roots back more than 150 years to a small residence in Cuba. In 1830, forthcoming company founder Facundo Bacardi set sail from his native Spain for the small island territory of Cuba at the age of 16. Upon his arrival, Mr. Bacardi was introduced to rum, a cheaply produced liquor that had become one of the most popular drinks in Cuba. At the time, rum had a reputation as a lesser drink and, consequently, was not served in many of the finer establishments. Mr. Bacardi took an interest in rum and soon began to experiment with oak-barrel aging and purification techniques such as charcoal filtering.

In 1862, Mr. Bacardi took his vision to the next level by acquiring a small, tin-roofed distillery in Santiago de Cuba for the sum of 3,500 pesos. The distillery also served as a roost for a number of fruit bats that lived in the rafters, inspiring the now-famous Bacardi bat symbol. Although the new rum company fell upon hard times during Cuba’s Ten Years’ War for independence, Mr. Bacardi nevertheless kept it afloat while perfecting his mellowing and filtering techniques. After winning a number of awards at international expositions, Mr. Bacardi retired and left control of the company to his oldest son Emilio, and the secret rum formula to his second son Facundo.

Bacardi continued to experience rapid growth under its new leadership, opening a sales office in Havana during the early 1890s. Toward the end of the 19th century, Bacardi benefited from the American occupation of Cuba during the Spanish-American War, which resulted in the introduction of the Cuba Libre and the Daiquiri, both first made with BACARDI rum. After the turn of the century, the company began to expand into countries such as Spain and the United States, making it the first multinational corporation in Cuban history.

After the United States enacted Prohibition laws, Bacardi was forced to close its American operations. During this time, company President and brother-in-law of Emilio Bacardi, Enrique Schueg, committed the distillery to enhancing its legacy with works such as the construction of the Edificio Bacardi de la Habana. The magnificent Art Deco building attracted many American tourists looking for the chance to enjoy BACARDI Mojitos and other BACARDI cocktails at Bacardi’s source. Schueg also diversified Bacardi’s product offerings, breaking ground in the beer market with Hatuey and expanding into countries such as Mexico and the territory of Puerto Rico.

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