13 Things You Didn’t Know About Bacardi

Bacardi is one of the most successful, popular rum brands in the world. It’s got at least 25 variations (if we’re including pre-mixed cocktails), some more questionable than others. And whether you’re buying in the backwoods or city central, you’ll probably be able to find it anywhere you go.

So, yeah, we must all know plenty about the stuff, right? Not even the tip of the iceberg, as it turns out. We know how to drink it, sure. But what’s in the Bacardi bottle actually represents more history—and, like, ridiculous amounts (and varieties) of tribulation—than any of us might expect. Disease. War. Plate tectonics. Castro. The list actually goes on.

So before you pour that next shot or shake up another Hemingway Daiquiri, drink in a couple factoids about the prolific rum brand you never really knew.

The Bacardi label is lying.

Bacardi labels read “Puerto Rican Rum,” but Bacardi was founded in Cuba, and only ended up in Puerto Rico because of communism. But we’ll get to that.

You have Spanish colonialism to thank for Bacardi.

In part, at least. Spain had set up an outpost in Santiago de Cuba in the early 19th Century. And one Catalonian family decided to try to make its fortune there.

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