In 1862, a man named Facundo Masso moved to Cuba from Spain to open a rum distillery in the city of Santiago de Cuba.
For almost a century, the sugar cane he used from the rich Cuban soil set the standard for Caribbean rum production as his copper stills dripped the spirit inside a room where fruit bats dangled amid the rafters.
Masso’s middle name: Bacardi.
The iconic brand with the bat-shaped logo fled to Puerto Rico in 1960 when the communist revolution took hold of the island, but Bacardi still celebrates its Cuban roots.
It’s fitting, then, that this year’s Summer of Rum Festival moves to the Cuban Club in Ybor City on Saturday, National Rum Day.
More than 20 brands will serve cocktails in multiple “rum zones” at the indoor-outdoor event.
The Cuban Club Main Street will house the main stage and rum huts, while Cruzan and Captain Morgan will serve mojitos and showcase pirate-themed rum drinks, respectively. The Island Rum Tasting Party will offer more than 40 rums from around the world while food trucks serve island-inspired foods.
Live entertainment scheduled throughout the day will feature reggae, ska, calypso, soca and a Jimmy Buffett tribute band.
General admission tickets are $20. For more information, visit www.SummerofRumFest.com