Bacardi Toasts 75th Anniversary of NY Supreme Court Ruling

April 25, 2012

“Subterfuge and a fraud ─ If it lacks BACARDI rum, no bartender’s concoction can be called a BACARDI cocktail” says Court
Hamilton, Bermuda, April 25, 2012 — Flashback to 1937 during the economic upheaval of the Great Depression in the United States. Prohibition had recently ended and BACARDI became very popular. During this struggling economic environment, some unscrupulous bars and restaurants in New York City tried to take advantage of consumers by substituting lesser quality rums for BACARDI for when they asked for BACARDI cocktails.

Standing up for the consumer’s right to get what was ordered and to protect the quality of cocktails, family-owned Bacardi took legal action against some New York bars and restaurants.

Straight from the original court transcripts safeguarded in The Bacardi Archives, the case was decided by the New York Supreme Court in April of 1937—75 years ago. Bacardi attorneys called the judge’s own bartender to testify and asked him what rum he used in the judge’s favorite BACARDI cocktail. He answered only “BACARDI rum.” Some other bartenders testified they used the handiest bottle of any rum available to make BACARDI cocktails. With that, Justice John L. Walsh, ruled: “Beyond a reasonable doubt subterfuge and a fraud is subjected on the purchaser when BACARDI rum is left out of a drink listed as a BACARDI cocktail.”

The case created major news and the court milestones were reported by the New York newspapers. The decision was so significant to consumers—to make sure they receive the high quality and great tasting BACARDI cocktail they order—that Bacardi featured the ruling in a popular series of print advertising and marketing campaigns from the late 1930s through the1950s under the theme that “Nothing Takes the Place of BACARDI.” Some showed actual quotes from the certified court records and the scales of justice. One series came under the heading “It’s Your Right” and juxtaposed two scenarios: on one side, a caricature of a man either singing in the shower, or bawling out the umpire, or not listening to his barber – each his right – and on the other side the man enjoying his BACARDI cocktail with the words: “It’s your right to get a BACARDI cocktail as it should be made! It must be made with BACARDI or it isn’t a BACARDI cocktail. The Supreme Court of New York has ruled so!”

“From 150 years ago to today, consumers call for BACARDI by name when ordering at a bar or restaurant to ensure they get the exceptional taste and quality created by my great-great grandfather Don Facundo Bacardí Massó and still made by the same exacting standards he established,” said Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited.

BACARDI is one of the most frequently heard bar calls in the world as discerning consumers continue to request for BACARDI by name to ensure they receive the premium quality spirit that first inspired the classic rum cocktails.

The world’s favorite and most awarded rum with nearly 500 awards; BACARDI revolutionized the spirits industry when it was first created 150 years ago. The light taste and unique balance of BACARDI rum inspired cocktail pioneers to create a new style of light, clean, crisp and refreshing cocktail recipes including the Authentic BACARDI Mojito, Original BACARDI Daiquirí and the Original BACARDI Cuba Libre—the world’s most popular cocktail.

“There’s a magical quality to a classic cocktail—it’s the perfect mix of the perfect ingredients,” added David Cordoba, Global Brand Ambassador for BACARDI Rum. “Today, everyone in the cocktail world dreams of achieving this alchemy which is why there’s so much respect from bartenders for the original ingredients—like BACARDI—used by cocktail pioneers to create a classic.”

“When the Bacardi family name is also the name of the business and one of the most recognized brand names in the world, protecting it is not only a matter of honor and pride, but most importantly a great responsibility to our consumers because they always come first,” said Ed Shirley, Bacardi Limited President and CEO. “They know to rely on BACARDI and make sure to ask for BACARDI rum by name. Today, when you order a BACARDI Mojito or BACARDI Cuba Libre, know that the law has ruled what consumers have known all along—only BACARDI makes a BACARDI cocktail.”

To learn more about Bacardi and its pioneering heritage, visit the 150th anniversary section at Media can register to receive information on Bacardi 150th anniversary activities, as well as access multimedia assets at

About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited, the largest privately-held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally-recognized spirits and wines. Its brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDI® rum, the world’s best-selling and most-awarded rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world’s leading super-premium vodka; DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, the top-selling blended Scotch whisky in the U.S.; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top-valued and fastest-growing premium gin in the world; MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, the world’s leading vermouth; CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, the number-one premium tequila in Mexico and a top-selling premium tequila in the United States; ERISTOFF® vodka, one of the fastest-growing vodka brands in the world; and other leading and emerging brands.

Founded in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, and family-owned for the past seven generations, Bacardi now employs nearly 6,000 people, manufactures its brands at 27 facilities in 16 markets on four continents, and sells in more than 150 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.