Both Bacardi (left) and Pernod Ricard (right) own a rum using the brand name Havana Club

Both Bacardi (left) and Pernod Ricard (right) own a rum using the brand name Havana Club

Bacardi has accused Pernod Ricard of "perpetuating a lie" in the latest round of the pair's spat over the Havana Club rum brand.

In a statement released late yesterday, the Bermuda-headquartered group, which partnered with original Havana Club brand owner the Arechabala family in 1994, took a swipe at comments made by Pernod late last year. Speaking to UK trade publication The Spirits Business in early-December, Pernod, which teamed up with state-owned Cuba Ron in 1993 to launch a Cuban-made rum under the Havana Club mark globally - not including the US - was cited by The Spirits Business querying claims made by Bacardi in an ad for its version of Havana Club.

The ad, launched in the US in November, centres around a purpose-written poem that argues: "Don't tell us we're not Cuban."

Following the launch of the ad, Pernod told The Spirits Business: "The 'Forever Cuban' campaign … contains a number of misleading statements, the most obvious being a false claim to be the original Havana Club rum. The real Havana Club rum … is crafted in Cuba."

Bacardi's counter this week dismisses Pernod's position and claims to tell "the true story of Havana Club Rum".

"In 1959," the statement reads, "Cuba's communist revolutionaries confiscated and nationalised the Havana Club distillery and exiled the Arechabala family, who created Havana Club in 1934. While the revolutionaries seized the distillery and trademark by force, they could not steal the recipe or the expertise that it took to produce Havana Club.

"That expertise left Cuba with the Arechabala family when they were exiled from their homeland."

Bacardi admits that its Havana Club is produced at its facility in Puerto Rico, adding that the rum "is based on the original recipe and techniques that were used by the Arechabalas to make Havana Club in Cuba prior to the Cuban revolution".

Pernod declined to comment further on the issue when contacted by just-drinks today.

Bacardi's Havana Club is only available in selected US states, with Pernod's version unavailable in the country due to the ongoing embargo against Cuban goods. 

What happened when? Click here for the history of the Havana Club row between Bacardi and Pernod Ricard