Mama Juana is traditional fair in the Dominican Republic, a unique libation indeed.
In a nutshell we're talking about rum(generally dark -spiced- rum), red wine, honey, tree bark, and herbs aged in a large squat bottle with a short and narrow neck. The term "Mama Juana" refers to the bottle.
Now, as the native Dominicans would tell you(and believe me, they told a great story!), the drink has many medicinal benefits.
*Kidney and Liver Tonic
That last one may have thrown you for a loop, me too! But more than one Dominican exclaimed to me as I was handed a cup of the juice -
"From the waist down, you are 18 again!"
I'll not be divulging any personal information here, but that was a pretty bold statement, and I couldn't help but purchase a bottle. If not just for the conversation piece!
One unique thing about purchasing the bottle, is that the maceration(the softening or breaking up of solid food using a liquid) is renewable. Once the liquid is drank from the bottle, you refill the same bottle(which still contains the herbs and bark) with new rum, wine, and honey. You let it sit and age for a time again, and you have another bottle of the unique beverage!
The recommended aging a refill for a week, although I also heard the concoction is ready to drink overnight.
Details on serving Mama Juana:
Store and serve at room temperature
Present in a shot glass
Should you find yourself in a Dominican restaurant or bar(hey, it could happen - this is Chicago!), see if they don't have a bottle of this stuff in the rail. You'll be glad you tried it!
Thanks for reading - Cheers,
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