When I remark that I have a cold, Yuri asks if I want some ” Mama Juana? ”
” I don’t want marijuana, ” I answer.
” No, ” she laughs, ” Mama Juana. It is a local drink, good for colds. ”
Berluis shows me a jug which looks like it is filled with bark off a tree, which, it turns out, is. Research says this alcoholic drink was concocted by local Taino Indians who put rum, red wine,honey, herbs, and bark in a jug to make a happy time drink.The drink is good for colds, flu, digestion, circulation, and cleaning the blood.
” It won’t hurt me? ”
Yuri shakes her head ” no” and Berluis pours us all a little into plastic cups, not unlike my golfing crew’s ” birdie juice ” cups.
We drink to the Dominican Republic, and, happily, no ill effects have been noticed.
The alcohol content is subdued and the drink is sweet, not unlike Jamaica Tea.
” You can’t say, ” Yuri explains, ” You have been to the Dominican Republic without trying Mama Juana. ”
People don’t need to have a health reason to drink but having a real cold makes this sampling real good for me.
Learning about local traditions is always a plus, especially when they taste so good.