Some mornings a “virgin” beverage is a welcome substitute for the previous evening’s more ambitious drinks. We’re talking hangovers, folks. They happen to the best of us. Luckily, we know of a nice little island concoction that soothes what ails you:

Morir soñando is a tropical beverage that originated in the Dominican Republic but is now popular in many Latin American countries. Although there are many different recipes for this drink, the basic ingredients are orange juice, milk and sugar. I know – OJ and milk aren’t exactly appealing to those of us in morning after mode, but trust me, all those carbohydrates are exactly what the doctor ordered. Morir soñando has been served traditionally in the Dominican Republic for many years. It’s popularity, among natives and tourists alike, caused it to spread to other Spanish speaking countries.

It’s a refreshing and sweet beverage whose name, translated from Spanish, means “to die dreaming.” While the name may have a morbid sound, it really implies that the beverage tastes so good you are transported to another world -similar to the expression “to die for.” The fruity and sweet flavor of morir soñando will remind many people of the orange creamsicles they enjoyed as a child.

Recipe for Morir Soñando

  • 4 cups of evaporated milk2 cups of orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed.1/2 cup of sugar2 cups of crushed ice1 tsp of vanilla

  • Pour milk and sugar into a large pitcher or and mix. Add ice.Gradually add orange juice. Add vanilla.

  • While the recipe sounds simple, it can be tricky to get it to turn out just right. The main challenge is to mix all of the ingredients without having the milk curdle.

Many Variations

There are many possible variations on the above recipe. For example, people who are not able to consume dairy or who are on a vegan diet may substitute almond milk for regular milk. It’s also possible to use other types of fruit juice in addition to, or in place of orange juice. One possibility is grapefruit juice.

You can make adjustments to the proportions of orange juice and milk. Sweetness can also be adjusted and you can substitute different sweeteners if you prefer not to use sugar. Agave nectar is a good natural sugar substitute. The vanilla is optional, but definitely adds to the flavor. Another nice touch is to add fresh fruit such as pineapple or watermelon on top. There are also alcoholic variations on this drink which include liqueur or rum.