Monday, December 3, 2012


The Dominican Republic is famous for its beaches and food. It's also famous for something called Mamajuna.

Mamajuna is a mixture of various herbs, plants, roots and other ingredients.  You just add rum and maybe some red wine and you're ready to go.  There are numerous recipes for Mamajuna, all you have to do is find the one that works for you and have at it.  I sampled a bit and it wasn't bad.

You can also buy Mamajuna premixed and save yourself a lot of trouble.

Now that I've told you Mamajuana is a famous trademark of the Dominican Republic, let me tell you why.  Better yet, a few photos will explain everything.

Notice the sign says "para vigor sexual".  Translation probably really isn't necessary, but just in case, it means "for sexual vigor".

That's right, if you want a little extra something in your sex life, stock up on Mamajuana.  Ladies, it will work for you too.   If you click on the photo above you can read a little more about what else it cures.  

Here's a closer look at the label of a Mamajuana bottle.

Remember I said that all you need to do is mix a little rum with your Mamajuana?  Well, in the Dominican Republic there's a very good chance that rum will be Brugal.

Brugal is the national rum of the Dominican Republic.  It's a perfect companion for your cuba libre.   A cuba libre is nothing more than a rum and coke.  In fact, I wrote a brief post about this a long time ago.  

Let's get back to Brugal.  I decided to try it for myself, so I ordered my cuba libre with Brugal.  It was good, although it was a little stronger than I expected.   In fact, Brugal's potency has led to a very well known saying in the Dominican Republic about Brugal.  

El que toma Brugal pelea o rapa
Whoever drinks Brugal either fights or fucks

Sorry to be so vulgar, but hey, that's what it means and I'm not going to give you a watered down translation that will put you into an embarrassing situation later, or even worse get you in trouble.  

Rapa comes from the verb rapar, and in standard Spanish means to cut.  But clearly in certain contexts in Dominican slang it also has another meaning.

There's one more national Dominican drink you should know about.

Presidente is the national beer of the Dominica Republic.  I have to admit, I liked it.  Make sure to give it a try if you go.

Well, that's it.  That pretty much wraps up my Dominican experience.  It was definitely fun and I hope to do it again someday.

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Hello Rodney. I hope you don't mind me suggesting (as a member of the Apostrophe Police) the following corrections:

    The Dominican Republic is famous for it's beaches and food. <- INCORRECT, should read "for its beaches", as its is the correct possessive adjective.

    (It's also famous ... <- CORRECT, contraction of "It is...")

    Kind regards

  2. Apostrophe Police, LOL, I like that.

    No problem. Believe it or not, I do know when to use which one, but my brain doesn't always send out the proper instructions to my fingers and I'm usually so focused on proofreading my Spanish the English mistakes slip by me. And proofreading has never exactly been my strong point anyway.

    Thanks for the corrections and for reading my blog!