A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 07, 2008
Morir Soñando ("To die dreaming” Dominican drink)

Morir Soñando is Spanish for “to die dreaming,” a Creamsicle-like drink popular at Dominican restaurants in New York City (such as the Caridad restaurants in Washington Heights). The ingredients for the drink often include orange juice, evaporated milk, sugar and crushed ice.

The exact date and place of origin of the drink are not known, but Reben Luncheonette in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has been serving Morir Soñando for at least 45 years.

Wikipedia: Morir Soñando
Morir Soñando (Die dreaming) is a popular beverage of the Dominican Republic, usually made of orange juice, milk, cane sugar, and chopped ice. Sometimes vanilla extract is also added, or evaporated milk is used instead of regular milk.

The recipe for Morir Soñando varies greatly depending on the regions and is also varied according to personal taste.

2 cups of milk
Juice from 2 large oranges(can be substituted for lemons or limes)
8 tablespoons of sugar (optional)
Plenty of crushed ice (blender cup filled with all previous ingredients)

Use three pitchers, large jars or similar tall containers. Juice the limes or lemons. Place the juice in one of the containers, adding sugar. Pour back and forth from one container to another until sugar is mostly dissolved.

Add half the ice. Pour the ice and lime back and forth a number of times until it is very cold. Taste. It should be tangy but slightly sweet, like tart-sweet lemonade. Add more sugar if required, and pour back and forth some more to dissolve.

In the third, clean pitcher, place the milk and the rest of the cracked ice. Pour back and forth, using the second empty container, until it too is extremely chilled. Work quickly so the lime juice doesn’t have a chance to warm up.

Quickly combine the milk and lemon, pouring back and forth a few times to allow it to combine and not curdle. Strain into tall glasses. Serve with straws.

Associated Content—video
How to Make Morir Soñando - a Delicious Drink from the Dominican Republic
By Rafael C. Enriquez, published July 17, 2007
Morir Soñando, literally means “To Die Dreaming”, is a delicious drink from the Dominican Republic. This is a drink that you can share with friends and family. The ingredients and the process of making it are very simple. The ingredients are milk, orange juice, sugar and ice. These ingredients are found in many kitchens.

Watch this video and learn how to make this refreshing drink during the hot summer months.

10 September 1975, Fort Lauderdale (FL) News, “Recipes With Spanish Accent” by Rochelle Koff, pg. 5E, col. 1:
(Recipes by Betty Nelson, a native of the Dominican Republic.—ed.)
1 cup cold milk
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cold orange juice
Ice cubes

Pour all ingredients into blender container and whip at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over ice cubes.

9 July 1987, Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard, “Politics Never Far Away in Nicaragua,” pg. C2, col. 6:
The title of the show, “To Die Dreaming,” is taken from the name of a fiery homebrew rum made in Camoapa called morir sonando ("to die dreaming").

Google Books
The Organ Builder: A Novel
By Robert Cohen
New York, NY: Harper & Row
Morir Soñando. It means “to die dreaming” — it’s the name of a drink down south of here. You like it? It’s exactly the way I’ve been feeling lately.

New York (NY) Times
Between Home and Heaven, a Ball Field
Published: March 31, 1991
On hot days, he will be sipping an orange juice and milk concoction called a morir sonando ("to die dreaming"), brought to him by Prisca Alvarez.
(The article is about Dominican baseball on Washington Heights—ed.)

1 November 1995, Frederick (MD) News-Post, “adventist festival: passport to international cuisine” by Gail CIssna, pg. D1:
Linda Liberato, born in Dominican Republic, and Evelyn Durand, who lived in Colombia and Venezuela for eight years, explained that a beverage called Morir Sonando was made with orange juice, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and sugar.

New York (NY) Times
Cool Drinks From Hot Climes, From Batido to Sinh To
Published: June 12, 1996
One of the more fancifully named batidos is called morir y sonando (dying and dreaming) and is made from the unlikely but delicious combination of orange juice, milk and sugar. The drink is pale orange in color, creamy, tart and refreshing. It tastes like a Creamsicle melted to a beautifully balanced liquid.
Morir y Sonando
Total time: 5 minutes
5 ounces orange juice
2 ounces milk
3 ice cubes
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smoothly pureed.
Yield: 1 serving.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 180 calories, 2 grams fat, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 30 milligrams sodium, 3 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrate.

Boston (MA) Phoenix (June 29-July 6, 2000)
Creamsicle dreamin’
Morir Soñando

by Suzanne Kammlott
Morir Soñando: in Spanish, it means “to die dreaming.” Popular in the Dominican Republic, this murky, pale yellow concoction is the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. It’s blended to order from very cold fresh-squeezed orange juice, whole milk, sugar, and a pinch of vanilla extract; the result looks like coagulated hell but tastes like Creamsicle heaven. Available for $2.25 at El Oriental de Cuba, 416 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain. Call (617) 524-6464.

February 9, 2007
The Hungry Cabbie Eats The Outer Boroughs: Reben Luncheonette
Saveur describes it as a Dominican juice drink called Morir Sonando (To Die Dreaming) at Reben Lucheonette in Williamsburg. Fresh-squeezed orange juice, milk, sugar, and vanilla syrup are all shaken with ice. The folks behind the counter seemed almost as proud as me when I showed them the magazine.

Even though I’d taken a thousand fares to Williamsburg and no one ever recommended Reben, I had a good feeling I was about to experience something great. I was right. The drink was absolutely delicious. And the guys behind the counter were as friendly as could be. I knew I’d found a new stop to take people on eating tours.

The Morir Sonando was refreshing and sweet. The flavor was so pleasing it made my shoulders slump and my eye lids droop shut when it hit my lips. I could clearly see why they call it To Die Dreaming.

The countermen didn’t speak much English, and my Spanish is spotty at best, but I did understand them saying “Top 100 in Brooklyn” as they looked at the magazine. I told them, “No, no solomente Brooklyn.” “Oh, todos de Nueva York?” one of them said excitedly. “Todo el mondo,” I corrected him.

Now they were thrilled. The counter man who seemed most interested in the whole thing informed me the drink was exactly as it had been for 45 years. Only the price had changed, and he showed me the original price hidden behind a construction paper cut out.

When I told them that I too was featured in the magazine, and that according to Mister Cutlets, we were the only ones that mattered, they got even more excited. And everyone crowded around to read my blurb with a genuine enthusiasm that struck me as almost childlike in its sincerity.

I left Reben Luncheonette with a slight sense of euphoria as a result of the Morir Sonando. I also felt a sense of brotherhood with my new friends behind the counter. And hopefully, I made Mister Cutlets proud.
229 Hevemeyer Street, Brooklyn

Foodist Colony
Reben Luncheonette Photo
Cuisine:  Dominican, Luncheonette
229 Havemeyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Neighborhood:  Williamsburg
Cross Street:  Btwn Broadway & S 5th St
("Morir Soñando” is shown on the awning and in the window—ed.)

New York (NY) Times
Heights Before Broadway
Published: March 14, 2008
First stop: El Nuevo Caridad, at Broadway and 172nd Street.

“The Caridad is like the McDonald’s of Washington Heights,” Mr. Miranda said as he bantered in Spanish with the women behind the counter. “There’s one every five blocks.” This one was a favorite. He ordered a drink called a morir soñando. “It literally means ‘to die of dreams.’ It’s like the thickest Orange Julius you ever had.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, September 07, 2008 • Permalink