Something that you may not know is that once somebody has a moderately-successful website or blog, especially one about a niche or special subject, one starts to get a lot of offers to review, publicize or peddle products, sometimes in exchange for money, or the product being the payment itself. I can honestly say that I have never accepted any such offers. Sometimes because the product – while good enough for me to recommend it of my own volition – was not a good match to our site. Sometimes because the product was not something I would buy myself. This is not one of those cases.
A few weeks back I came across a new product mentioned in another blog. The name alone, PALO Mamajuana, piqued my curiosity and sent me on a mission to find out more.
From what I was able to read this is not the mamajuana you and I know; for one, this has all the ingredients clearly labeled, and mercifully turtle penis was not one of them. It is also not an alcoholic beverage, instead it was being promoted as a “herbal tea”. Me, I just wanted to find out what it tastes like. So instead of they reaching out to me I called them. A week later I got my sample to try.
Before I tell you how the tasting went, let me tell you a bit about the drink and the company behind it.
PALO Mamajuana is manufactured in the US from all-Dominican ingredients. The recipe is based on the traditional mamajuana drink, but produced with modern technology to guarantee its quality. This is what they have to say about it:
PALO has combined 16 different natural and adaptogenic herbs and infused them with organic agave nectar and evaporated cane juice. Our proprietary blend of Mamajuana is based upon the best formulations and recipes we have come across in the Dominican Republic over the past seven years and balanced for both flavor and function.
One of the first things you will notice when you visit their website is the words “Social Responsibility”. That caught my interest. Palo’s ingredients are harvested and processed in a manner that not only respects the environment, but also takes into consideration the well-being of the people who work at it.
Our Primary mission is to provide all-natural primo Mamajuana in a manner that does not compromise the environment of present and future generations. Beyond this, PALO is committed to reaching back to assist the country from where the ingredients are harvested, the Dominican Republic.
PALO Products also supports and sponsors disadvantaged students in the area from where the ingredients for their products are harvested. In addition they have donation campaigns when 100% of the profits of sales from specific sources are donated to charities they support, more recently a daycare serving children in a depressed area in the DR (check PALO on Facebook for details).
Luckily for me, not only did I get to try their product, but they have also decided to sponsor our website, we are proud to have such company support us.
So, how did the tasting go? Following their suggestion I chilled one the bottles. With the recent heat wave here you can see how that’s an excellent choice. The first thing I noticed was the cinnamon taste, followed by a slightly citrus and sweet flavor. Palo does taste like mamajuana, albeit milder and less-sugary than the original. I can see myself drinking this instead of an alcoholic drink on a night out. Palo only has 50 calories, less even than the lightest beer, so this is the kind of thing that I would order (I may have a glass of wine here and there, but I rarely ever drink alcohol).
Then I did what they suggested next: warm it up and drink it as a tea. So I poured myself a cup, popped in the microwave and voila! Instant tea. It works as a hot beverage too. The cinnamon and citrus are tastes that Dominicans are familiar with in their hot drinks. I preferred it cold, perhaps because of the heat. I am not sure how I would prefer it if I lived in a cold place.
And then I went off-script and decided to experiment in ways that they did not suggest (I am sure PALO is fine with experimentation). My husband and his best friend are mamajuana lovers. They drank some chilled, and then added ice and some Dominican rum to it. The verdict: it tastes a lot like the original mamajuana, but less overpowering and less sweet (a good thing, we try to keep our sugar intake to reasonable levels).
I am very glad that I was able to try PALO, and for the record I would definitely buy some if it were available in the DR. I will probably order some and bring it to our relatives on our next trip, and I am sure they will love it too.
Welcome PALO to our family of Dominican food lovers, and we are glad you joined us.
The product reviewed here was provided to me (Clara) at no cost and with no obligation of a favorable review. PALO Product, LLC is not related to Aunt Clara’s Kitchen.