When the U.S. Congress banned the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol in 1920 the Company had to shutter its New York bottling plant.
But Bacardi did not view Prohibition as defeat. Instead, it kicked off an innovative campaign promoting Cuba as an enticing, tropical island escape from the drinking restrictions back in the USA.
Tantalizing postcards illustrating the allure of Havana nightlife and BACARDÍ rum cocktails were mailed out. And a major airline ad encouraged U.S. customers to "Fly to Cuba and Bathe in BACARDÍ rum."
The strategy paid off. American tourists flocked to the lively Havana bar scene. One of Cuba’s first skyscrapers, Edificio Bacardí, opened its elegant black-and-gold art deco bar to celebrities,entertainers and even the Spanish royal family.
As the family and Company name became more prominent, protecting it was a matter of honor, pride and survival. In 1936, the Company won a landmark lawsuit against New York bars that were substituting other rum to make BACARDÍ cocktails. A State Supreme Court ruled a BACARDÍ cocktail must be made with BACARDÍ. Today, when a customer orders, for example, a BACARDÍ Piña Colada, by law, it must be served only with BACARDÍ rum.
Forced out of its homeland, Bacardi courageously carries on.
Shortly after the Cuban Revolution, Bacardi established a base in Bermuda. This strategic move served as a geographical bridge between Europe, where Bacardi targeted growth, and the U.S., where it was already established. The Company then began a period of spectacular achievement.
For more than 130 years, Bacardi was a one-brand company, specializing in the world’s best-selling premium rums. Then the Company dramatically broadened its scope across the spirits industry, becoming the largest privately held spirits company in the world.
When Bacardi purchased the MARTINI & ROSSI group in 1993, the Company doubled in size, added brands and secured powerful distribution channels overseas. More successful acquisitions followed, including DEWAR’S Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, GREY GOOSE vodka, PATRÓN tequila and CAZADORES 100% blue agave tequila.
Surpassing 150 years, the vibrant Bacardi journey of innovation, perseverance and success moves ahead.