Cocktails & Spirits

Magical Dominican Elixir at Mamajuana Café

​Forget Viagra and Tamiflu, the only reliable way to shake off your erectile dysfunction and H1N1 woes is a sweet, dark shot of that ancient alcoholic cure -- mamajuana. So, poor sufferer, head to local outpost Mamajuana Café (225 Altara Ave., Coral Gables) where you can get your dose of the Dominican potion in any number of ways: a straight pour, some kind of mixed concoction, or even in your food.

Long a fave of the Taino Indians, mamajuana is traditionally a medicinal mix of honey, herbs, roots, rum, and wine. And Mamajuana Café makes the booze-based brew in-house according to that time-tested recipe with a few signature touches (Añejo rum, cinnamon, anise, raisins) and a batch of secret ingredients. Packed densely and aged under the bar in 1.75L glass jugs, a bottle of mamajuana-in-progress sorta looks like a murky brown science project full of spidery roots, twisted chunks of cinnamon bark, and bloated raisins. Then, four to six months later, the elixir is ready for consumption -- a strong but sweet blend with a deep earthy flavor and a bright amber color.

So, poor sufferer, slam a shot and watch your ailments evaporate. Or, if your palate's a little too delicate for unadulterated hard liquor, ask Bar Captain Richard LaMonica to prepare a $10 mamajuana mojito (fresh lime and tamarind juices, mashed mint, and an ounce of mamajuana). Or, if even that's too potent, order some mamajuana-marinated ceviche.

Cazart! You're cured!

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S. Pajot