Exploring Samana City,
Mama Juana, a mystical local brew
The Fabled Mama Juana
I take several photos of La Churcha and get back in the taxi. Richard turns and asks, “A mama—you wanna?”
Now, there's an unexpected question. Is Richard offering to be my pimp? Well, who better than a taxi driver?
“A mama—you wanna! Very good!,” he grins. “I take you.”
Before I can say anything, I'm breathing oil fumes again and Richard pilots his scooter taxi back to the market. We stop in front of a small shop with two open doors. The doors carry signs for El Presidente beer and Coca-Cola. It's hard to imagine a brothel advertising Coke.
Before stepping over the threshold I peer inside but see nothing but a normal neighborhood bar. Richard points to a large clear bottle. "Now you try mama—you wanna.”
I peer at the label: yes, it's Mama Juana, also known as Mamajuana. I vaguely recall hearing about
this make-it-yourself drink and how it's supposed to be an amazing aphrodisiac.
It will make a real man of me he laughs as he spreads his hands more than a foot apart. Only in my drunken dreams, I laugh back, declining the Mama Juana. I order a couple of Presidentes, which pleases him, and Richard.
The bar owner's relaxed and friendly attitude makes me feel quite at home.
His pub, not much larger than a tree fort I once built, is as unpretentious
as he is.
However, I later find a bottle of unmixed Mamajuana ingredients, which I take back to the States and try it there. Still have that bottle of dry herbs and twigs.