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.




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