1862 – IT STARTS WITH A DREAM
Bacardi is founded on February 4 by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó in Santiago de Cuba, when he buys a small distillery and revolutionizes the rum-making process to create a smooth, light-bodied spirit – what the world now knows as BACARDÍ® rum.
Facundo’s wife, Doña Amalia notices a colony of fruit bats hanging in the rafters of the distillery and recognizes their importance to the Spanish and Cuban Taíno Indians as symbols of good health, family unity, and good fortune. She suggests adopting the bat as the symbol of BACARDÍ rum and soon locals began to ask for “el ron del murcielago” – the rum of the bat.
1888 – Favorite of the famous
BACARDÍ rum’s popularity and reputation for quality spreads like wildfire.
The company wins a gold medal at the Exposición Universal de Barcelona and is appointed ‘Purveyor to the Royal Spanish Household’. BACARDÍ establishes itself as a favorite of the rich and famous.
1910 – New Horizons
Bacardi becomes Cuba’s first multi-national company by opening operations in Barcelona Spain ‒ where BACARDÍ rum is bottled outside Cuba for the first time – and in New York City soon after to keep up with the growing demand for BACARDÍ rum in the United States.
1920 – BANNED BUT NOT BEATEN
Prohibition goes into effect in the United States, banning the manufacturing and sale of alcohol, and the Bacardi bottling facility in New York shuts down.
The company turns adversity into success with a campaign promoting Cuba as a tropical escape from the “dry” United States. Americans flock to the island to enjoy BACARDÍ rum, triggering growth for the company as cocktail culture booms around the world.
1930 – AN ICONIC DESTINATION
As Prohibition carries on in the United States, Bacardi unveils Havana’s first skyscraper: the iconic Edificio Bacardí, designed by the architects Esteban Rodríguez-Castells and Rafael Fernández Ruenes. The elegant black and gold Art Deco lobby bar becomes a favorite hangout for entertainers, tourists, celebrities and even the Spanish royal family!