Founded in the 1860s, Bacardi operates as a privately-heald, family-owned and operated manufacturer of distilled spirits. Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, Bacardi Limited is led by Facundo L. Bacardí, the great-great grandson of founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó.
For the first 130 years of the company’s history, Bacardi focused exclusively on the manufacture of rum. Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, a Catalan immigrant to Cuba, originally worked in the wine industry. Seeking to expand into new business ventures,
Bacardi began experimenting with rum. Rum was then considered a crude, low-class drink unsuitable for sale in respectable taverns. Bacardi invented a distillation technique that improved the smoothness of rum, and he aged it in oak barrels in order to improve the flavor. The new BACARDI rum, brewed in Santiago de Cuba, quickly caught on in Cuba and abroad. Bacardi continued to operate out of Cuba until 1960. Many Cuban, rum-based drinks were invented with BACARDI rum, including the Cuba Libre or rum and cola. BACARDI was also the favorite brand of author Ernest Hemingway. Following the Cuban revolution, the Bacardí family feared its assets would be nationalized and the company relocated to the Bahamas. The manufacture of BACARDI rum shifted to facilities in Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Mexico.
In 1992, Bacardi Limited began diversifying its holdings through the acquisition of Martini & Rossi, the famous vermouth brand. Shortly thereafter, the company added BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin and DEWAR'S Blended Scotch whisky to its family of brands. In the 2000s, Bacardi Limited began buying vodka brands as well, including French company GREY GOOSE and New Zealand-based 42BELOW. Bacardi Limited also owns CAZADORES tequila, ERISTOFF vodka, and several other brands.
Bacardi Limited’s operations span the globe, with more than 6,000 employees and distribution arrangements in some 100 countries. Bacardi Limited sells more than 200 million bottles per year.