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Bacardi gets close to consumers in annual Back to the Bar event

On 7 February, Bacardi employees will pour into more than 1,000 bars in 130-plus cities around the world for the drink giant's second annual 'Back to the Bar' initiative.

John Burke, chief marketing officer and president of Bacardi Global Brands Limited and with Jacob Briars, Bacardi global advocacy director. Photo credit: Benjamin Eagle.
Coinciding with the company’s annual Founder’s Day, 'Back to the Bar' commemorates the 157th anniversary of family-owned Bacardi, today the world’s largest privately held spirits company. Designed to reignite the company’s bar-born spirit and family culture, Back to the Bar has become an important cultural touchstone for the company which was originally founded in Cuba and today operates in more than 200 countries around the globe.

“Back to the Bar is based on our belief that our brands are built in bars, not boardrooms. As Bacardi celebrates our 157th anniversary, it’s important to reconnect with our roots, think like founders and put our own feet on the street to see first-hand how our business, bars and consumers are changing,” said Mahesh Madhavan, CEO of Bacardi Limited.

“For Bacardi people, visiting bars is often more work than play as we do on-the-ground research and put ourselves in the role of salespeople and social media influencers.”

Trendspotting to take centre stage


From trends like 'drink less but better' to 'Instagrammable handcrafted cocktails' to 'no/low is the new go-to', Back to the Bar will shine a light on important trends in a drinks business that continues to flourish, with Millennials – dubbed the 'shaken and stirred' generation – at the forefront of a new golden age of cocktails.

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“The cocktail revolution continues as more people from more places drink more varieties of spirits than ever before, and bars and bartenders are on the frontlines,” said Jacob Briars, Bacardi’s global advocacy director. “In addition to spending time with consumers, Back to the Bar is a chance for us to thank the bars and restaurants who support us and the world’s best bartenders, who are truly on the cutting edge of what’s new and next in our business.”

As part of this year’s event, François Portier, area director for South and East Africa, and Nicolas Koumbarakis, brand Ambassador sub-Sahara Africa will be going Back to the Bar at Rockets Bryanston and Gemelli’s in Johannesburg, respectively. Classic cocktails from the portfolio of Bacardi will be available including the Bacardi Cuba Libre, Martini Negroni cocktail and Patrón Margarita.
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