Many of us consider rum a pirate drink. Meanwhile, there was a man who made this alcohol elite, accustomed to him and the highest person. Facundo Bacardi also changed the taste of rum, creating a standard for other producers. The history of the Bacardi brand originates from the picturesque island of Cuba. It was there in the first half of the XIX century Don Fakundo Bacardi left for another 15 years. On the island, he began to work in the shop of his brother Jose, offering Spanish goods. However, someone did not like working for someone who was ambitious – he gave his word to start his own business. And to realize the dream Facundo begins to save literally everything.
In 1843, Don Bacardi founded his own company, Facundo Bacardi y Cia. She sells alcohol. But things did not start right away – on August 21, 1852, there was a terrible earthquake. Half of the city was destroyed, and from the outbreak of cholera epidemic, every tenth inhabitant was killed. Among the victims were two children of Facundo. Then the businessman made an important decision to transport the family to Spain. When Bacardi returned to Cuba, he discovered that his shop was simply looted. The Spaniard simply did not have the resources and resources to restore business, as a result his firm simply went bankrupt. After such a failure, Don Facundo could only return again to his brother Jose, who was able to keep his business. However, the problems that deprived the Facundo family and business, only tempered the character and forced to look for new opportunities.
In those days, rum was a fairly rough and unprocessed drink. He was sharp and burned, for which he was loved in his time by the Caribbean pirates. For the nobility this drink of interest did not represent, that’s why on secular parties it was not found. Bacardi decided to change this situation and create a new, more civilized drink. All his free time he devotes to experiments on the distillation of rum at home, using different enzymes and raw materials.
Soon Bacardi came up with a new technology for the production of rum, which had not been used before by anyone. He began to soften this rough drink, passing it through a carbon filter. Thus it became possible to remove impurities. Then the rum was kept in an oak barrel, picking up its blend. Like the current experimental scientist, Facundo conducts his work log, evaluating all the results of the work done. A lot of trial and error eventually gave the desired result – a product that met all Bacardi’s expectations and standards.
Roma of his production were both softer and lighter compared to local competitors. They were so strong and heavy that they looked more like a medicine. The surprisingly light rum from Don Facundo, due to its aging and fragrance, was not only different from other varieties of rum, but it was not even like any other alcoholic beverage at all.
Bacardi wanted to present his discovery on the alcohol market as soon as possible. To do this, Facundo and Jose bought from John Nana a small distillery, paying 3,500 pesos for it. This opened a new page in the history of Bacardi. February 4, 1862 was officially registered company “Bacardi y Compania”. She quickly won customers and influential fans. Rum Bacardi was loved by gourmets, monarchs and simply independent people. This drink has formed a new image of the drink, changing the attitude towards it. Don Facundo created a new variety of rum – Bacardi carta blanca. The first samples had such an original and mint flavor, which today is a yardstick for other Roma.
Soon Bacardi realized that his products needed a recognizable trademark. So there was a famous bat. According to legend, it was this beast that the wife of Don Facundo, Donia Amalia Lucia Victoria Moro, who visited his first Cuban plant, saw. But in Catalonia there is a sign that bats symbolize wealth, luck, health and family happiness. Since 1862, rum began to come out with his trademark.It along with the right distribution and allowed the brand to quickly become popular in Cuba. The island quickly learned about the new, well-seasoned and soft rum. In addition, the brand name helped, as if giving the drink also a magical power.
Another iconic company symbol is a coconut tree planted near the very first plant of Bacardi. This tree became almost the same age as the company, Facundo himself considered it a relic. Before his death, the founder of the brand bequeathed to his heirs by no means to cut down the palm tree, but to look after it. The request was heard – although production was constantly growing, new buildings were appearing, the sons of Bacardi were watching the cult tree.
In 1877, the company had a new leader. Now it was led by the son of Facundo Bacardi, Emilio. He was actively engaged in politics, supporting the local nationalist, fighter against the Spaniards Jose Marti. For this, Emilio Bacardi even twice visited the exile. And in 1898 Cuba became independent, in no small part due to and assistance from Bacardi. Himself Emilio becomes first mayor of Santiago, and in 1906 and a senator of the republic.
The popularity of the drink is growing with the appearance of the cocktail “Cuba libre”. At the end of the XIX century, in the midst of the struggle of the islanders for their independence, American soldiers landed on the island to help their neighbors. One of the military ordered a mixture of Bacardi rum with Coca-Cola in the Havana bar, where he also added ice and a slice of lemon. The brave captain with such pleasure drank his drink, that this did not remain without the attention of visitors. The bartender was ordered to order the same thing, a mixture of rum and coca-cola became the highlight of the evening. As a result, one soldier offered a toast to the Free Cuba “Por Cuba Libre!”. The crowd picked up the slogan, which gave the name to the new cocktail. It quickly became popular in Cuba. And although both components are distributed in their own way, the cocktail has earned worldwide recognition.
In 1920, the United States introduced a “dry law”. Such a measure for the rum Cuba was at the right time. And the company itself Bacardi received momentum development. After all, in those years, many Americans came to the island to relax and relax with a glass of Cuba Libre’s favorite cocktail. In 1927 the company organized the first regatta in its honor. This was one of the first and striking marketing moves that helped promote the brand. Since then, sailing races are held every year.
Legends of the family say that in the mid-1950s the famous palm tree began to die. This became a sign that the company is facing difficulties. But until then the rum brand has been actively developing. On political stability on the island came to an end – the pro-American policy of the government caused more and more discontent. There was a split in the family itself – some descendants of Don Facundo were supported by Castro, others by Batista. On the eve of the revolution in Cuba, the Bacardi family decided to leave the island, and soon the famous tree also died. But since then, the company decided to plant coconut palms around each office or shop. In 1959 the company was re-registered in the Bahamas. On October 14, 1960, a new, revolutionary government confiscated all the assets of the wealthy Bacardi family. On that day, it lost about $ 76 million. Representatives of the clan were forced to emigrate to the United States.
The new government, confiscating the rum factories, began to produce a drink there, giving it away for a real Bacardi. But the owners did not know that secret formulas were used in production. Then the Bacardi family sued, defending their rights to the brand, this dispute was won. The counterfeit rum was seized from the sale, and the rights to the company and the trademark were returned to the historical owners. Soon the company placed 10% of its shares on the stock exchange in order to somehow compensate for its losses.
By the end of the 1970s, the Bacardi rum was becoming the most popular alcoholic beverage in the United States. However, the success and global recognition of the company of the former unity within it does not bring itself.In 1977, several clan representatives sold their shareholdings (only about 12%) to the Canadian whiskey manufacturer Hiram Walker. In 1980, internal strife forced the leadership to buy out all shares from holders, including from outside companies. In 1983, the Bacardi plant produced a two hundred million box of rum. And after a while the company acquired the world’s largest producer of wines Martini & Rossi. In 1996, in the alliance of Bacardi-Martini, the leader was the first time not a member of the Bacardi family. Lawyer George Reid showed himself well in 1997, when the rights to the Havana Club rum were bought out.
The fact is that the government of Cuba believed that the brand is considered a national property. The Bacardi family found themselves an influential ally in the face of the French from Pernod Ricard, who was promised exclusive rights to sell the Havana Club. During the war for the brand, the Cuban authorities brought down their entire propaganda machine on Bacardi-Martini. The concern was accused of supporting the anti-Cuban policy of the United States, preparing the assassination of Fidel Castro, violating the rights to intellectual property. Although the company could not defend the rights to global sales of Havana Club, the American market was repulsed. In 1998, the company’s portfolio included several other well-known brands – whiskey Dewars, Amaretto DiSaronno, gin Bombay.
A museum appeared in Puerto Rico, whose name translates as “Bacardi House”. The exposition presents dozens of rare exhibits from storage and private collections. And in one of the rooms in the non-stop mode there are rumors of rum advertising sent from different countries. Today the elite alcoholic beverage is made by the Bacardi family in accordance with the original family recipes in 1862. Rum is produced and bottled in factories in India, Mexico, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Panama and Trinidad.