the dominican drink
Mamajuana is the indigenous drink of the Dominican Republic. It is a brew of twigs and bark and herbs, with rum and red wine and honey. Some love it, some hate it! Some claim that it is an aphrodisiac for men, but also that it cures all of what ails you, purifying organs and acting as a medicinal supplement. As a medicinal supplement and as an item that you will be ingesting, bear in mind any allergies and go slowly the first time trying mamajuana.
On the beaches there people that sell mamajuana with shell fish, you should not try those. The safest mamajuana are the ready-to-drink mamajuana that you can buy in stores.
There are suggestions for how to make a recipe of mamajuana, but no hard and fast rule.
Start by soaking the roots and twigs for 3 days to 2 weeks in rum or red wine or a combination of both. At the end of that period, throw out the liquid. Then refill with equal amounts of rum and red wine and honey. You may choose to leave out the red wine, but then it makes it a really strong drink if the only liquid is straight rum. The wine, with a lower alcohol level, lends flavour while watering it down a bit. Top it up with the same ingredients in the same general proportions.
The measurements are very loose and the recipe is forgiving.
It may take a couple of batches for you to decide how you like it best. You can pour it off once steeped to your taste and get the next batch going. The longer you leave it to steep, the stronger the flavour will be.
Opinions are mixed on whether you should leave the roots to dry out again. If you like the wine or like it sweet, you can leave it sitting in the wine or honey water to infuse. You would then have to throw out that soaking liquid if left for an excessive amount of time. You can drink it straight or with fruit juice or as you would use rum in a cocktail.
You can consume and refill the same bottle for 10 years. After that period, the bark and roots will have lost its potency.