Cuba has become known as the "Isle of Rum", due to a combination of world-famous sugar cane (first introduced by Christopher Columbus in 1493), a favourable Caribbean climate, fertile soil, and the unique know-how of Cuban "Maestro Roneros" (master rum-makers). Sailors, swashbucklers and locals liked to use this exceptional sugarcane to make fermented nectar and "tafia" (an early type of rum).
Quality improved drastically in the 1800s with the introduction of copper stills and the first attempts at ageing. Pedro Diago, known now as the father of Cuban rum, can be thanked for this. He had the idea of storing the "aguardientes", or eaux-de-vie, in pots and burying them in the ground. The second half of the 19th century saw the production of a lighter and more refined rum, known as "Ron Superior".
This was developed on the instructions of the Spanish Crown, which wanted a more delicate rum that could "satisfy the court and the elite of the Empire". El Ron Superior is the father of today’s Cuban rum: light, smooth, delicate, crisp and exceptional straight or in cocktails. Its popularity was such that by 1860 there were more than 1,000 distilleries in Cuba.
Today Havana Club, the leading Cuban rum in Cuba and in the world, continues to embody the heritage and supremacy of the Cuban rum-making tradition. Relying on the unique know-how of its Maestros Roneros, Havana Club has kept alive the art of añejamiento : the art of distilling, ageing and blending premium rums. The name "Havana Club" captures Cuba’s rum-making heritage and the unique atmosphere of Havana, the country’s capital. Havana Club is closely entwined with Cuban culture, and Cubans take pride in what has become a true national icon.