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Showcasing history with a rum in hand

Bacardi, the family-owned rum-maker, has been in a celebratory mood this year, holding parties across the globe to celebrate its 150th anniversary. But it hasn’t stopped at just shindigs.
Showcasing history with a rum in hand

Bacardi, the family-owned rum-maker, has been in a celebratory mood this year, holding parties across the globe to celebrate its 150th anniversary. But it hasn’t stopped at just shindigs.

The alcohol company, which owns the eponymous rum as well as brands including Grey Goose vodka and Bombay Sapphire gin, appears keen to show its serious side and has released an archive of more than 30,000 items recording the company’s history.

Creating the archive, which started with a shoebox of slides in 1998, was no easy task, said Bacardi archivist Patty Suau.

“The task to reconstruct our history was monumental because 98 years of assets were destroyed, scattered around the world with family members, or left when the company's Cuban assets were confiscated in 1960 by revolutionary forces," he said.

But in just over a decade, the company has managed to find creative marketing campaigns from the US Prohibition era, rum bottles from throughout its history and awards it won, among other items.

The family business was founded by Don Facundo Bacardi Masso, who created its light-bodied rum, often used in cocktails like the cuba libre, the daiquiri and the mojito.

"We have an amazing heritage that tells the story of a pioneering spirit that not only defines but helped create a cocktail culture that began with my great-great-grandfather in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba," said Facundo Bacardi, chairman of Bacardi and a fifth-generation family member.

History, some say, is boring, but washed down with a cuba libre, it’s surely anything but dull. 

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