The History Of Bacardi Rum

From the fruit bats to the multi-billion dollar company, learn how this giant of rum making has grown from an experiment to a corporate wonder.

Acquiring Martini and Ross in 1992, and Demars, Bombay Gin, and Disaronno Amaretto in 1999, Bacardi - Martini USA, Inc. became one of the largest suppliers of alcoholic spirits in the world. In 1987 Bacardi sold over twenty million bottles of rum, the first time that any single brand of liquor reached that mark. 1991 saw the introduction of the Bacardi Breezer. In only nine short months this refreshing wine cooler had captured the lion share of the market. This success, grown out of an obsession, has transformed the alcoholic beverage industry.

In 1829 Don Facundo Bacardi Masso emigrated from Spain to Santiago, Cuba, bringing with him an inventive mind and a love for drinking. Immediately he discovered that the drinks, namely the rum that was popular on the island, was of a dark, rich, almost overwhelming nature.

He began, with the particularity of a scientist, to analyze the fermentation and distillation process that was then used to create the sickening concoction. He soon found, through his own experiments, that if the liquor was sent through a charcoal filter the impurities and contaminants that gave the drink its characteristic stout flavor would be eliminated. The result was a light, surprisingly smooth and flavorful drink.

With the development of the new Bacardi rum, in 1862 Bacardi purchased a tin roofed factory building in which he planned to start a distillery. In the roof of the building lived a family of fruit bats, considered to be a good luck omen in Cuban mythology. To this day, the official logo of the Barcardi Company bears the likeness of a fruit bat in flight.

In 1944 Bacardi Imports was opened in New York City, opening the huge U.S. market to the quickly growing Cuban company. By 1960 the Bacardi Company had control of assets that totaled well over 75 million dollars. In 1966, because of increased sales and growing popularity, the super giant Coca-Cola Company agreed to advertise with the liquor, creating the ever-popular Rum-n-Coke. By 1978, Bacardi rum had become the number one selling spirit brand in the United States.

Under the observance of a family of fruit bats, the Bacardi Company was born. It has grown to become the single largest company in the alcoholic beverage industry. Over coming such obstacles as the poor relations that Cuba has traditionally had with the free world, strict embargoes, and the unpredictability of a new light liquor market, the Barcardi company has shown that given a good product, a passionate mind, and desirous population, anything is possible. It seems that the luck of the fruit bats has insured the success of a dream.

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