2 Dominican Drinks: Morir Soñando and Santo Libre—A Toast to D.R.

Morir Soñando Santo Libre drinks DR 3

To add a festive splash to special gatherings, one of our favorite Dominican cooks Belqui Ortiz-Millili loves to serve two cocktails from the D.R.: morir soñando and santo libre

Belqui’s first memories of morir soñando, a drink mixing orange juice and milk (We know. Believe us: it is so good), goes back to when she was little. Its name means “to die dreaming”—a reference to its airy, light, sweetness. On many a childhood Sunday, Belqui would visit her grandmother’s house for a traditional Dominican midday meal and a glass of creamy morir soñiando. At the time, she had no idea what was in it, and simply enjoyed its dulzura and refreshing flavor.  Not to mention the fact that it was a special bebida she was allowed to have because it is non-alcoholic.

Surprisingly, Belqui first made morir soñando for herself when she was an adult, and was amazed to find out that evaporated milk is the key to this drink’s signature sweetness! Today, Belqui makes this classic mocktail when she invites her family over for a large breakfast. Belqui suggests pairing it with mangú con los tres golpes, the classic D.R. comfort dish of salami, eggs and cheeses for a truly special traditional comida Dominicana.

Santo libre is a much-loved Dominican twist on the classic cocktail Cuba libre, which mixes rum and Coke, Cuban-style. To make a santo libre, Belqui switches the cola for a lemon soda: like Sprite or 7Up. She especially loves how quick this drink is to make and how perfecto it is for for a cool break on hot summer days—especially when she has a pool or beach party planned. Often, she’ll even mix a batch of santo libres at the beach because of how simple it is to make.

Both morir soñando and santo libre are the perfect drinks to accompany the authentic Dominican dishes she loves to make for her family and showcase on her cooking blog Belqui’s Twist. They remind her of the attention and passion poured into family meals by her mom and grandmother, who started teaching her how to cook when when she was very little. In those early days, she even had to stand on a cinderblock to see what was being cooked on the stove! Now that she is all grown up, Belqui is proud to make these both these bebidas to accompany family-favorite Dominican meals for her family. For her, they are the oh-so refreshing taste of home.

Interested in trying Belqui’s other classic Dominican recetas? Check out her family-famous arepitas de yuca and Dominican-style rice and beans.

Ready to Make a Dominican Morir Soñando or Santo Libre—or Both?

2 Dominican Drinks: Morir Soñando and Santo Libre—A Toast to D.R.

Recipe by Belqui Ortiz-Millili
5.0 from 2 votes
Cuisine: Dominican


Prep time




  • Morir Soñando (To Die Dreaming)—non-alcoholic
  • 2 cups orange juice (Belqui prefers OJ with no pulp)

  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk

  • 4 Tbsp sugar

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups ice

  • Santo Libre
  • 1 oz white rum, or to taste

  • 6 oz 7Up, Sprite or club soda

  • 1 tsp lemon, juiced

  • 4 cubes ice

  • 1 wedge lemon or lime, for garnish

  • 1 sprig mint, optional


  • Morir Soñando (To Die Dreaming)
  • In a pitcher, place the milk, orange juice, sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Mix well with a whisk.
  • Add ice to your serving glass, pour in the mixture and enjoy!
  • When making morir soñando, you can also use a blender to make a frothier drink.
  • Santo Libre
  • Add ice cubes to your serving glass.
  • Add the rum, lemon juice, and your choice of 7Up, Sprite or club soda. 
  • Stir, garnish if desired, and serve. Salud!


  • When making morir soñando, you can also use a blender to make a frothier drink.
  • Belqui likes to add mint in her santo libre for a little bit of an extra kick and because it reminds her of a Cuban mojito, in homage to the homeland of the original drink—Cuba libre, made with cola, rum and lime—that inspired Dominicans to create the santo libre.

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