Did you meet Bob last week? I hope so, because he was my main inspiration for this project that I am quite excited to share with you!
And I know, lots of you are giggling about the Marijuana similarity in the name, but let me be VERY clear when I say that even though Colorado would be the place for such a product, we’re not making dope booze here.
My "Supplier" says this about MamaJ:
Mamajuana has a long history dating back to over 800 years. The original mamajuana drink was in the form of an herbal tea, which was discovered by the Taino Indians, which inhabited the Caribbean and the region known as Hispañola in the times prior to Christopher Columbus. It was used as a Vitality drink and as their answer to well being.
Today, Mamajuana or "Mama Juana" is a blend of exotic wild grown tree stems, barks, leaves and roots native to the Dominican Republic. These herbs are typically cured with rum, wine, honey and other ingredients to produce a flavorful rum base liqueur.
The local residents refer to Mamajuana as the "Baby Maker" and "El Para Palo", which means Lift the Stick. The Dominicans say; “Whatever tortures you – Mamajuana takes care of it”
Mamajuana herbs give rum a unique, woodsy, chamomile, cinnamon and anise flavor. Mamajuana from the Dominican Republic is said to quickly energize and vitalize both men and women. (We will test that theory too... just for you!)
As with any food or beverage, there are hundreds of variations. Every tribe or region has it’s own blend of herbs, and even different families would mix their alcohol differently.
Two examples that I’ve tasted of this type of treat were Bahama Bob’s Bark Juice and the “Root Juice” that he inspired me to make at home. Both were excellent, and both have me looking forward to this project.
When I got my herb blend from the Don Ramon Mamajuana company, which I selected for their 19 herb blend (as opposed to 6-10 that I found elsewhere) I immediately wanted to get started. Their blend of Guinea Henweed, Star Anise, Princess Vine, China Root, Chew Stick, Basket Wood, Cinnamon, Whole Clove, Minnie Root, Rose Wood, Chamomile, Milk Wort, Bay Rum Tree, West Indian Milkberry, Coconut Palm Root and Brazil Wood smells downright inviting. It’s like strolling through the spice section at the local Whole Foods!
Of course, I couldn’t remember what kind of wine to get... So I raided the basement. They recommend a Burgundy wine, I’m sure Carlo Rosi would have been fine, but I used a Black Swan Merlot.
You begin by packing the herbs into a bottle. All of the herbs fit perfectly into a 750 ml Rum bottle. Then you top the bottle up with red wine that will soak out some tannins from the wood and herbs. This takes a few days, I was only patient enough to wait for about 36 hours!
Tossing out that wine was the hardest part of the whole process! I knew better than to taste it... But if you know me at all, you know I did, and if you know anything about Mamajuana, you know I wish I wouldn’t have!
Now for the main show!
A bottle of Confre Cellars Pomegranate Wine from Palisade Colorado was selected for this batch to add a sweet fruit flavor. Again, Burgundy is traditional, but again, you know me!
Six ounces of the wine went onto the herbs along with 2 ounces of local honey and then, again straying from tradition, which would have called for a normal rum like Brugal Anejo, I topped the bottle up with Cruzan 151 rum.
Now we wait. Three or four days, a week would be better, a month would be choice! But you know I’m not going to make you wait that long!
Have a great week peeps! Hope you’ve got something brewing!