With more than 550 awards in 150 years, BACARDÍ is recognized for innovations in quality and taste winning awards alongside other game-changing inventions
This year, while Bacardi is celebrating its 150th anniversary, it’s also marking another milestone: BACARDÍ rum is the world’s most awarded spirit, having garnered more than 550 awards, accolades and recognitions from around the world.
Bacardi won its first award at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition of the World’s Fair in Philadelphia when BACARDÍ rum was recognized as an innovation that revolutionized the world and honored alongside other game-changing inventions including the Corliss Steam Engine, Remington’s typewriter, Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone, and the precursor to electric light.
The medal earned at the Centennial Exhibition would be the first of several World’s Fair Gold Medals and awards the legendary BACARDÍ rum would win. During its 150th year, the iconic BACARDÍ rum portfolio surpassed 550 awards for quality, taste and innovation, making it the most awarded rum in the world—and the most awarded spirit of all time—outscoring all other spirits: rums, whiskies, bourbons, brandies, cordials, liqueurs, gins, tequilas and vodkas.
Those awards are the results of BACARDÍ founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó’s desire to pioneer transformative innovations that set standards for rum production and revolutionized the spirits industry. Spending more than a decade experimenting with production techniques—such as using a single strain of yeast to deliver consistency, purposefully mellowing and filtrating using charcoal—Don Facundo created the world’s first smooth, light-bodied, mixable rum.
“Through his relentless attention to detail in every phase of the distilling process, my great-great grandfather single-handedly transformed rum from the harsh drink of pirates to the smooth, light-bodied spirit we know today and enjoyed around the world,” said Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited and fifth generation family member. “It’s no surprise his unique innovation started winning what was at the time some of the most prestigious awards on earth a mere 14 years after it was crafted and that it keeps winning awards for quality, taste and technical achievement today.”
“The sheer number of awards BACARDÍ rum has won shouldn’t be surprising in the least,” said F. Paul Pacult, noted spirits writer/author and editor of F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal. “What Don Facundo Bacardí did 150 years ago was visionary and unprecedented for the rum industry, transforming it overnight into what we enjoy today.”
BACARDÍ didn’t stop with just one World’s Fair Gold Medal. It won again in Paris in 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was unveiled along with an early version of the automobile; it won in Chicago in 1893, which also showcased the original Ferris Wheel as well as Nikola Tesla’s alternating currents display which eventually became the framework for modern day global power grids; it won again in Paris in 1900, where the diesel engine and motion pictures debuted; in Buffalo in 1901, which showcased the portable X-Ray machine; in 1904 in St. Louis, where the first electrical outlet was introduced to the masses and first ice cream cone introduced in the U.S.; and it won Gold in San Francisco in 1915 at the World’s Fair that featured the first transcontinental telephone call.
“Alongside major technological and sociological advancements that shaped—and continue to shape—the world we live in today, BACARDÍ rum was there, transforming the spirits industry,” said Ed Shirley, President and CEO of family-owned Bacardi Limited. “We couldn’t be more proud of these parallel histories that connect with consumers to this day.”
With more than 550 awards, the BACARDÍ awards portfolio includes—but not limited to—recognition by such esteemed competitions as Monde Selection, the top international spirits competition; San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the world’s biggest national spirits competition; International Wine and Spirit Competition, the premier competition of its kind on the international stage; as well as World Spirit Awards, considered by some industry insiders as the ‘World Championships’ of the international awards and the best and highest award by the industry.
“Make no mistake: these competitions aren’t in any way honorary,” said master mixologist Dale DeGroff, widely known throughout the spirits industry as ‘King Cocktail.’ “They are judged by only the most distinguished and discerning palates in the industry, those with decades of experience required to discern a quality spirit when they taste it. As the years go by, BACARDÍ continues to demonstrate its commitment to quality and great-taste through innovative products like Añejo, Limón and recently OakHeart.”
In 1888, BACARDÍ was appointed “Purveyors to the Royal Spanish Household” which inspired the slogan “The King of Rums, and the Rum of Kings” and granted permission to use the Spanish Coat of Arms on its label, a symbol still on each bottle. The eight medals on all BACARDÍ rum bottles serve as reminders to consumers of the entrepreneurial spirit of Bacardi, as well as continued focus on quality, taste and new ways to enjoy cocktails.
“Experts have endorsed what our consumers have known for a long time: BACARDÍ rum simply tastes great—which is why anyone wanting its unparalleled smooth taste should specifically ask for BACARDÍ rum by name,” Shirley added. “Early cocktail pioneers used BACARDÍ as a key ingredient because it was so mixable. The taste and unique balance of the rum inspired them to create a new style of clean, crisp and refreshing classic cocktail recipes that remain popular today including the authentic BACARDÍ Mojito, original BACARDÍ Daiquirí and the original BACARDÍ Cuba Libre.”