When you arrive at a hotel bar in Punta Cana, one of the things that attract your attention is usually a strange bottle, full of leaves, sticks and roots. (At least in most bars)
Or you just usually hear people talk about a strange name drink that you can’t pronounce.
Mama Wana, juana mama, baby maker, Dominican Viagra, among others name, are usually the names that tourists give to that drink.
But its real name is Mamajuana (or Mama Juana) and in this post I will give you all the details you need to know about the typical and popular Dominican drink
What is Mamajuana?
It is a liquor from the Dominican Republic. Originally it was a popular spirit drink from Dominican fields and cities.
Its artisanal elaboration consists of the bottling of roots, leaves and barks of endemic trees and sometimes also Seafood
Keep in mind that you must be the legal drinking age in Dominican Republic
Is mamajuana a drug?
NO.. Mamajuana is a liquor and is known as the national drink of the Dominican Republic
There is a small debate about the birth of this drink.
Some local historians and researchers believe that Mamajuana was in principle a tea made by the Taino Indians to cure the flu, headaches, toothaches among others.
Others claim that their history began in the early 16th century with the arrival of African slaves and their healing practices. This theory affirms that slaves used honey or cane molasses to sweeten the roots and leaves although it is not known for certain when shellfish entered to be part of the elaboration.
These being the ones that give the name to the drink as the “Dominican viagra”
The health benefits or positive effects reported vary, from a flu remedy to an aid for digestion and circulation, a blood cleanser, sexual potency, renal and liver tonic
Being the sexual enhancer the best known of its effects, especially in the Dominican population, this is why for decades it was considered a drink for Men.
Although the greatest benefit is the pleasant time you spend with friends, especially in the “Dominican winter” that is not cold for tourists but for the locals in the fields it is terrible
What tree bark is in Mamajuana?
The mixture is made from local roots and plants
Here you can see a small list of the most common, but the mix varies depending on the place of origin on the island
- Anam· (Petiveria alliacea)
- Anis Estrellado (Illicium verum)
- Bohuco Pega Palo (Cissus verticillata)
- Albahaca (Ocimum basilicum)
- Canelilla (Cinnamodendron ekmanii)
- Bojuco Caro (Princess Vine)
- Marabeli (Securidaca virgata)
- Clavo Dulce (Whole Clove)
- Maguey (Agave spp.) leaves
- Timacle (Chiococca alba)
in some regions they also add shellfish to the mixture
How to make Mamajuana
Mamajuana is available for sale in three ways:
- Pre-packaged dry ingredients (in bags or bottles) that the client cures and macerates
- Ready to drink, including the ingredients in the bottle
- Ready to drink, filtered and bottled
To make a Dominican Mamajuana you must have the ingredients ready, starting from the pre-packaged sticks and following certain steps so that the flavor of the Rum is pleasant.
Acquire the ingredients
If you are in Punta Cana you can purchase the ingredients on our free shopping tour
If the ingredients you purchased are not packed in a bottle, then you should get one
Any empty bottle of rum you have at home works or you can buy a handmade one, as long as the bottle is narrow-tipped and made of glass.
Do not use plastic bottles
Cure the sticks
You must cure the sticks to prevent damage or the drink has a bad taste.
For this there are two ways in which you can do, choose the one that suits you best, or even combine both.
- Put the ingredients to boil in water for about 15 minutes and then dry them, if the ingredients are already bottled, you can put hot water inside the bottle for a few minutes and then let them drain.
- Put white or gold run inside the bottle, leave the sealed bottle for about 10 days and then throw that mixture.
Do not drink that mixture of mama juana because the taste will be very strong and bitter
- Using a combination of both methods can make the bottle ready faster
There is no exact measure for the preparation, since this depends on the taste of each person, but there is a reference measure that is used in traditional bottles.
- 2-fingers of honey
- 2-fingers of rum (golden or white)
- And the rest of the bottle is filled with red wine
It is prepared by letting the rum, red wine and honey soak in the bottle with the tree bark and herbs, let it macerate for a period of 7 to 10 days and that’s it.
The flavor of mamajuana when it is ready is similar to the port wine and the color is very intense red.
It is served in a shot glass at room temperature
The most common way to consume mamajuana in the Dominican Republic is clean or as an infusion at room temperature.
With the popularization of ready-to-drink brands, there has been a growing interest in mamajuana among mixologists.
Many facilities on the premises now offer mamajuana recipes in their cocktail offerings.
In recent years, consumption of mamajuana has increased greatly and considerably, and trademarks are available in the Dominican Republic and internationally.
Ready-to-drink brands like Karibú, Tremols and Kalembú or even mamajuana spicy can be purchased at duty-free shops, resorts, liquor stores and on our free shopping tour
Also brands like K-rla mamajuana that can be purchased on the internet
How long does Mamajuana last?
The effect of the branches lasts between 7 to 10 years, so we can be taking out Mamajuana all that time.
However, the first time you fill the bottle you should not leave the rum macerating for more than 24 hours as it immediately takes on flavor and tends to become bitter, taking on a very unpleasant strong wood flavor. Of course, as you fill in, you do have to lengthen the maceration time. After maceration and filtering (because the sticks leave dregs) the aging begins, now in a separate bottle and now to the taste of the consumer.
How many times can you refill Mamajuana?
Some people claim that the bottle can be refilled 15 to 20 times; but many locals people say there is no limit on how many times the bottle can be refilled.
As you can see, there is still a lot of debate about that
5 Mamajuana-based cocktail recipes
The Names are usually very funny so handle it at your discretion
1: PUNTA CANA
- 2 oz of Candela Mamajuana
- 2 oz of Passion fruit juice
- 1 oz of lemon juice.
Mix everything and serve
Do you dare with spicy?
- 3 oz of Mamajuana
- 2 oz of lemon juice.
- 1 oz of Jalapeno rubber syrup
Mix everything and serve
3: ORIENTE CALIENTE
Are you ready for an “adult time”? Surprise your partner with this stimulating cocktail mixing
- 2 o.z of Mamajuana,
- 2 oz of prosecco
- 2 oz of Yuzu Liqueur (citrus liqueur).
4: HAPPY ENDING
if the cold is attacking you with the weather change, fight it with kombucha. Mixture
- 3 oz de kombucha con
- 3 oz Candela Mamajuana
5: OLD FASHIONED
update this classic by replacing whiskey with rum or bourbon.
- 1 sugar cube with
- 2 drops of Angostura bitters
- 2 oz of Mamajuana,
- A slice of orange peel.
And you … have you tried it yet?