During our trip to Punta Cana a few summers ago, I was very intrigued by this deathly-looking drink. Every staff member at our resort, The Ocean Blue and Sand, basically insisted that we add some of the strong stuff to our meals.
And that’s exactly what it was- super, super strong. My chugging, shotgunning, funnel-friendly crazy college-friend acquaintance probably couldn’t keep this stuff down.
This drink (if you want to call it that), is concocted of rum, red wine, and honey, all soaked together in a bottle with tree bark and herbs.
TREE BARK? What!?!? Do you see it there in the bottle?
After finally giving in, after being peer pressured for quite some time, we were served the Mamajuana at room temperature, in shot glasses.
Stupidly, I took a teeny tiny sip, and ultimately decided I would have no more. I should have thrown it back from the start.
Have the flu? Indigestion or circulation problems? Want/need to cleanse your blood? Mamajauana might be the answer. Many natives of Dominican Republic claim Mamajuana to be a remedy for many different medical issues. It also acts as an aphrodisiac.
There are so many different versions of this potent stuff, it’s best to try it out before you buy. But at only around $5 a bottle, its easy to buy a few.
The resort even gave us a do-it-yourselfer (complete with all ingredients) to make our own Mama Juana at home, included in our Privilege package. We weren’t brave enough to stir the pot, literally and figuratively, and used each separately when we got home. The honey was like no other, and the rum, well, the husband finished that off not too long after the plane hit the runway.
If you want to get really creative and attempt this at home: First, remove the bitterness by soaking the bark and herbs in red wine, for about a week. Turn every once in a while, and then throw the wine out. Fill the bottle of soaked bark/herbs with 1/4 honey and 3/4 dark rum. Add vanilla, ginger, or cinnamon sticks if those are flavors you enjoy. Drink after a few days, then feel free to repeat the honey/rum mixture. You may be able to do this 15-20 times, until the flavor of the bark and herbs disappear. Or a single concoction of bark and herbs may last for years. [source]