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May 7, 2010

Witness this bottle of Mamajuana from the Dominican Republic

latin cocktail time!Midnight Sunner Stagger Lee sent me this photo of a bottle of Mamajuana from the Dominican Republic.

It's a Latin herb cocktail -- just like the ones we were talking about the other day

According to Stagger, it came with shrubbery, bark and leaves soaked in rum. 

"Tastes like gas, but 'mas fuerte," he reports. I'm not sure what that means, but I sent it to our Spanish interpreter for analysis.

It came with no liquid, but the border guards made Stagger's messenger pour them in a bottle of rum to "avoid the rubber glove treatment." 


(Photos courtesy of Stagger Lee)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:30 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


It's not too bad, really. It tastes a lot like rum with mulling spices. Ratchet up the flavor by using Brugal. We had some other local rum down there that did taste like gasoline - maybe it was.

They fill the bottle with rum, wine, or a mixture of both. Somtimes honey was added to make it sweeter. The Dominicans claim drinking it has Viagra like effects.

I just moved to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. There are some people here that swear by the stuff. However, each bar that has it has it's own recipe. Some are better than others, but in all, don't have too much or you'll wake up in a mahogany tree or something.

My neighbor just returned today from DR, and brought us a bottle of Mamajuana as a thanks for collecting his mail.

This version looks much like what Lee described... leaves and bark, but soaked in red wine.

You have any advice on how to drink this stuff, what to mix it with, etc?

Hell, do you have any advice on how to even get it out of the bottle?

I have never mixed it, although I should. Usually it's just a straight shot of it, and the wincing commences.

Just pour it out as you normally would for any bottle. If any plant matter comes out, just put it back in the bottle.

Although the first fill is the one with the do you say...ooomph, you can refill it when it gets drained. Just let it soak in the bottle for a bit longer than the last time, most suitably in a dark area.

I have refilled my bottle a few times with different run and added a bit of local honey to it. I've used Sailor Jerry, Mt. Gay, Appellton, and Bacardi.

Sorry to say, and sad to report that the color, quality, and flavor of rum has done nothing to mask the taste!

That's exactly the bottle I have. I guess I'll try to refill it. I'm not feeling your screen name though.

And why not?

Afraid of who Stagger Lee was, or the sheer volume of songs written about him?

not afraid of anything- bothered by airing dirty laundry and enforcing stereotypes

Of which none was my intention, but I see your point.

I find this history, the lore, the myth fascinating.
I started listening to the Clash, my Stack-o-Lee knowledge went further with Wilson Pickett, and settled on the screen name when the Black Keys sang about him.

From ragtime and the blues to soul and rasta-punk? That's pretty impressive.

Let's be honest, you are correct, but it's transformed into something else over the years. Lest we forget, it's all about a murder among pimps while gambling, all over a Stetson hat.

In 1895.

there have been hundreds of Stagger Lee songs dating back to the 18th century. People have been named after Stagger Lee- me and my wife know seperate Stagger Lee's- I guess you can say it's like Shaft or Superfly- I don't wanna sound siddity but it just reaks of ignorance to me. However in the final paragraph of a Toni Morrison novel she spoke of wanting to be in a place where black folks enjoyed black life- where people danced and sang with names like Stagger Lee...

oh, and I don't think this topic is something for this forum- something that would better be dicussed in a bar over some spirits.

Actually Tif, husbad of mine, you won't be refilling that bottle because I threw it away a couple of years ago. Shortly after we brought it home from DR our house was swarming with fruit flies. I've always believed they came straight out of that bottle so I ditched it. Sorry. lol

The locals force this stuff on you at every bar. Tastes like crap, but its usually free at resort bars.

Tif, this is a virtual bar. All topics should be dicusssed. Less chance of someone breaking a bottle over your head. How's toyr Segway?

There's a need to "cure" the Mamajuana first!

When you get the bottle, filled with a red wine you really like (a lot!) and wait a week then empty the bottle (toss away the wine as it will be too strong to drink, and the oxides from the barks will be nasty). After that take another wine, this time a white (that you also love alot) but first pour some real honey into the bottle adding the white wine to mix it up in there...

Shake the bottle gently with the mixture, this to make sure to have the honey disperse evenly and to make sure to make the bark relase any small particles (from the oxidation treatment).

Never let you bottle be exposed to direct sunlight or any other strong light in the house, keep it at floor level (that's where the ideal room temperature will be) and blocked from direct lights.

Once you wait a week, empty the bottle again (not good to drink yet) and this time add a whole bottle of Brugal Extra Anejo to it, or Barcelo if you like a softer, yet bodied ron.

Let the liquor sit in the bottle for at least a day of two and it will be ready to drink!

Never allow the bottle to empty more than 1/4, as this will oxidize the bark too fast and make the taste stronger (unless you like it strong, so then leave it low).

When drinking Mamajuana, take care of never mixing it up or following with other drinks!!!!

When buying a Mamajuana bottle, avoid the commercial version and ask about the ones you MUST order weeks in advanced, as these are the best handpicked barks you'll ever taste.

Make sure to ask for a gallon size bottle, which you can get a metal rocker made for. The ideal bottle of Mamajuana would never sit atop any surface on the floor!! A cradle will make sure to keep it insulated from temperature changes from the floor and maintain true room temperature!

My bottle of Mamajuana was a gift from my Father to me, given to him by my grandfather and his grandfather before him... A well kept Mamajuana bottle's bark will NEVER spoil! All you need is to add bark as needed in small quantities for the life of the bottle (or yours), which will never need to be cured" as the first time.

The best place to "order" a really good bottle of Mamajuana in the Dominican Republic, is a small town called Jarabacoa in the Cibao Valley. Others adore the barks from Sabana Iglesia's region as well.

The rhum you add to a Mamajuana MUST be made with Sugar from the DR or Cuba, to have the best taste extracted from the bark interaction with the rhum...

wow an expert. Owl the Segway needs new tires which are on backorder since the Company was bought by Europeans in March. The wife doesn't ride her segway as much so I may do a switcharoo. Do I know you Owl?

It is great to that every day there is more and more interest in the Dominican Specialty liquor.
What many don´t know yet it that there is a ready to drink mamajuana readily available in the US. It is the real stuff, made in the Dominican Republic, and without worries about availability, bringing it in, preparing etc. Also find out about the aphrodisiac effects, They are for real!!
Check it out mamajuana Kalembu

I own two bottles of Mamajuana. I used sweet red wine, honey and mango rum in one, for a sweet on the rocks drink (mainly for the ladies). My second bottle is made with molasses and Brugal. This bottle is for shots the gentlemen and I knock back when its just us and Miles Davis. My uncle came from DR with his bottle that's about 10 years old. His was stronger and filled with Bermudez, Raisins, lime and honey. Different strokes for different folks. Everytime I go to DR, I have about 3 or 4 request to bring back bottles for my co workers.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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