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What does Brugal mean?
What about your saucepans
Ten years in the life of a British woman
living in the Dominican Republic

What does 'Brugal' mean?

Find out what Brugal means. Brugal is explained by Lindsay de Feliz - author of What about your saucepans


Dominicans love rum and Brugal is one of the famous rums of the Dominican Republic. The company was started in 1888 by Andrés Brugal Montaner who came from Spain to the DR via Cuba. He started the company in Puerto Plata in the north of the country. The actual process is a closely guarded secret, but basically the sugar cane is cut and then turned into molasses in the factory in San Pedro de Macoris. Yeast is then added, the sugar turns into alcohol and is then transported to Puerto Plata, where it is placed into American white oak barrels to age.

The Brugal Company produces several different kinds of rum. After introducing its dark rum into the market in 1888, in 1920 Brugal launched its Carta Dorado and white rums. The clear, white or “blanco” rum that Brugal produces is considered the purest among the white rums produced in the Dominican Republic. The Brugal Carta Dorado is a dark rum and is aged for 1-2 years. The Brugal Anejo, also a dark rum, is more expensive and is aged for 2-5 years. This rum was first produced in 1952. Finally there is the Brugal Extra Viejo, first produced in 1976, aged for 5-8 years and also a dark rum.

Brugal also produces 2 more expensive, less frequently consumed rums. The are the Brugal Siglo de Oro which is a 12 year old rum and finally, the Brugal Unico, a 30 year old, expensive rum. This is the ultimate for rum connoisseurs. The Carta Dorada rum ages for 1-2 years, Añejo for 2-5 years and Extra Viejo for 5-8 years.

Today, Brugal has become the world’s third largest producer of rum behind Bacardi and Captain Morgan. The Puerto Plata factory produces 75,000 litres of rum every 24 hours and has an 80% market share of the rum market in the Dominican Republic.

The rum can be drunk neat, or with ice, and several people drink it with coca cola (a cuba libre) or with sprite (a santa libre) and it is also the main ingredient in mamajuana which is a drink that is rumored to have qualities as an aphrodisiac, a flu remedy, an aid to digestion and the circulation, a blood cleanser and a tonic for the liver and kidney.

Mamujuana is made with rum, red wine and honey poured into a bottle which is full of bits of tree bark, twigs and herbs. The herbs and bark were originally used by the Taino Indians with hot water to make a medicinal tea, and this has now been replaced by alcohol. It is usually served as a shot and often restaurants will give you one on the house after a meal.

The name Mamajuana actually comes from the English word demi john - the name of the large bottle with a narrow neck, which is traditionally used for making it. Demi john comes from the french word for the same bottle, which are known there as Dame Jeanne. Instead of Lady Joan it has ended up as Mother Joan in Spanish.

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"...and as we passed the Freedom Bar I asked him to stop. I walked into the bar shakily, slowly and carefully putting one foot in front of the other, leaning on Danilo and my stomach welcomed its first nourishment since I had been shot. Another shot, this time of Brugal rum. Everyone was delighted to see me and within minutes the word was out on the street. ..."

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