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The joy of bats and other fun critters

David Bellm

January 29, 2014

4 Min Read
The joy of bats and other fun critters

I’ve always loved animals and other such colorful characters used as logos. I think it’s one of the great, time-honored ways of adding personality to a brand. And it’s kind of a lost art, particularly as the trend in packaging design and branding seems to be toward a sleek, almost sterile or generic aesthetic (early ‘70s corporate style anyone?)

bacardi_bats_v31.jpgBut one company that has stayed the course and kept their colorful animal prominently on display is famed spirits brand Bacardi. Their iconic bat has adorned bottles of rum for 100 years, and the company is celebrating the occasion with a new limited edition heritage bottle.

Here’s what the company says about it:

bacardi_package_tall_v21.jpgBACARDI(R) Superior rum, the world’s first, premium white rum, is celebrating the start of the festive season with style by launching a new Limited Edition Heritage bottle to commemorate 100 years of iconic cocktail creations.
Since 1910, BACARDI rum has been regarded as sophistication in a bottle by the finest bars in the world, as well as remaining the core ingredient of some of the world’s most renowned cocktails. To celebrate this landmark, BACARDI Superior rum will pay homage to the authentic 100 year-old BACARDI bottle used by the pioneers of cocktail making. The bottle was most famously used by Jennings Stockton Cox, who introduced the world to the BACARDI Daiquiri by mixing freshly squeezed lime juice and sugar with his favorite rum to enjoy after working long days in the Copper mines of Daiquiri, Cuba.

Beautifully adorned with mute colors and Edwardian writing, BACARDI has creatively captured the designs of the early 20th century craftsman and added a modern touch with a luxurious, wooden case. Each bottle even has the same alcohol strength as it did 100 years ago: 89 proof (44.5% ABV).

Produced in the beautiful Destileria La Galarza in Mexico, only 7,500 cases of the new Limited Edition Heritage bottle will be available; making it the Christmas present to buy for those who love mixing cocktails or a rum aficionado who can appreciate a rare collector’s item. Quaint with rugged elegance, the new BACARDI Limited Edition Heritage bottle will provide just the right touch of class to any occasion.

In addition, BACARDI is also launching a special edition Christmas gifting pack. The sleek tube packaging is embellished with the iconic BACARDI bat logo and imparts the story of its origin. The bat logo harkens back to the discovery of a colony of fruit bats in the rafters of BACARDI’s original distillery in Santiago de Cuba in 1862. In 1860s Cuba, many people were illiterate and so the visual bat symbol, which was a traditional symbol of good luck, immediately made BACARDI Superior rum more memorable and the bat was recognized as a sign of a quality rum. Since then this mythical symbol of good fortune has graced every bottle of our rum. Today, a century and a half later, it has become one of the world’s most recognizable icons and a consistent badge for unquestionable quality.

The BACARDI Limited Edition Heritage bottle will be available now at Selfridges with a recommended retail price of Pounds Sterling 50. The special edition BACARDI Christmas pack will be available in all good retailers across the UK with a recommended retail price of Pounds Sterling 13.66 (regular 70cl bottle price).

barcardi_bottle_v2.jpgThe Rum of the Bat
In 1862 Dona Amalia, Don Facundo’s wife, discovered a colony of fruit bats high in the rafters of the original tin-roofed BACARDI Rum distillery. Understanding the significance of the bat in both local and Spanish lore, she suggested using it as a symbol for the new BACARDI Superior rum.

As a lover of the arts, Dona Amalia knew that Cuba’s extinct native people, the Tainos, regarded bats as possessors of all cultural goods. And in Spain, bats were thought to bring good health, fortune and family unity, ever since a bat settled on the royal standard of King Jaime I (’El Cid’) on the eve of the battle to regain Valencia from the Moors in 1238.

The decision to use the bat as a visual symbol for BACARDI Superior rum proved to be a pragmatic one. In 1860s Cuba, many people were illiterate and so the visual bat symbol immediately made BACARDI Superior rum more memorable and recognizable.
Reports quickly spread across Cuba of ‘el Ron del Murcielago’ (The Rum of the Bat), a rum that was smooth, civilized and astonishingly drinkable. The bat had become a badge of quality and consistency, a symbol for the genuine article. And The Rum of the Bat soon became a well known and loved sight across the island.

It became so memorable that, despite the best efforts of seven generations of the Bacardi family to distinguish themselves in business, philanthropy and public service, the most recognizable member of the family is still ‘el Murcielago’ or the BACARDI bat. It has appeared on the label of every product carrying the Bacardi family name since 1862.
Today, ‘el Murcielago’ is welcomed in over 170 countries around the world. An iconic image, the bat symbol is recognized wherever BACARDI Superior rum is sold and enjoyed.

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