Rum and Bacardi

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In 1839 Don Facundo Bacardi y Massó immigrated to Santiago de Cuba from Spain. After years of experimentation he perfected a lighter and milder rum than the rough and unrefined traditional rums of the time. Taking the image of the fruit bats that lived in the rafters of his tin-roofed distillery, he created a brand that became know the world over as BACARDI Rum. The company grew steadily, aided by a stream of Americans visiting Cuba during prohibition in the 1920's. Bacardi began opening distilleries around the Caribbean and was firmly on the way to globalisation when prohibition ended in 1933.

In the 1950's, the political regime of Cuba became increasingly unstable. In 1960, the government seized Cuban businesses and confiscated all Bacardi's assets. The Bacardi family fled to exile in Nassau, Bahamas, where they continued to manufacture BACARDI Rum with the secret recipe and processes that they had used in Cuba. In the years that followed, BACARDI Rum's annual sales are more than 240 million bottles in 200 countries. This puts Bacardi as the world's largest rum company.

The story of the Bat begins in Santiago de Cuba, where the founder of Bacardi, Don Facundo Bacardi Massó began experimenting with the distillation of rum. In Order to supply his rums beyond his friends and family, he purchased a small tin roofed distillery for the price of 3,500 pesos. After entering the distillery, his wife noticed a colony of fruit bats hanging from the rafters.

Bats had great significance in Dona Amalia's world. As a lover of the arts, she knew that Cuba's extinct native people, the Taínos, regarded the bats as possessors of all cultural goods. And she knew from local lore that bats were popularly thought to bring good health, fortune and family unity. In search of an identifiable emblem, Don Facundo employed the bats as the trademark of his new rum.

Today, the BACARDI Bat is a welcome character in more than 200 countries around the world where Bacardi rum is...
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