Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Give me an Orange "Julius"


Orange Julius

Recently I was craving a drink from my past. I get this craving whenever I see I giant bowl of oranges sitting on my table. Since winter has now sprung itself upon us, I like to keep a huge bowl of citrus in my kitchen to brighten my mood while it's frosty outside - although if you're living anywhere near me, you already know that our winter this year has yet to be anything resembling "frosty". In any event, mix the frosty with citrus and you have one of my all time favorite drinks, an "Orange Julius"! I'm sure you have heard of this drink sometime in your lifetime. It's a creamy, frothy, cool orange drink that was only available at the stores bearing the same name.

This drink grew out of an orange juice stand opened in Los Angeles in 1926 by Julius Freed. He had created an orange juice-based drink that was less acidic and therefore more popular. He did not have a name at first so when people came up to his stand they they would simply say "Hey! Give me an orange Julius!" Thus, the name that stuck.

For some, that name brings back a ton of memories and for others, it sets them off on a wild chase of finding that "mystery ingredient" that makes the drink seem so unique. While doing some research I noticed over and over the many copy-cat recipes from people who think they have found the answer. The funny thing is that though creamy, no ice cream or yogurt is used, and though really rich in orange flavor, no concentrated frozen orange juice was used. Normally I am all over copy-cat recipes that may use an ingredient that has nothing to do with the original but takes on the same look, taste, and feel in the finished product. But in this case, only the original would do.

I can honestly say that I am pretty close to this particular subject as my very first "paying" job was at an Orange Julius in my hometown mall. I remember some of the requirements were that you had to be able to lift 50lb bags of sugar to pour into giant drums with water to make the "simple syrup", or I should say, "sugar water" as I was trained to say. We also had to be able to cut and juice 75 oranges in 10 minutes using an electric juicer, something I still bet I could do today.

At the time, I was excited to get this job because I had loved Orange julius when I was little and it was a real treat when Mom would take us out for one. I had also always wanted to know what the "secret" was that made them so good. I remember asking my manager one time what was in that powder that made the Julius's so special. Her reply was simple: "It's a secret." The funny thing was that the ingredients were printed on the box and the bags of powder were always lifted out of it before any of us could see. I worked there in the early 80's (before Dairy Queen acquired the brand) and smoothies were just starting to become the "new" health craze, so they had extended the menu of Julius flavors and offered raw eggs for protein. We also served hot dogs and hand cut fries. For the longest time I had thought the "special powder" was malt. But years later and after lots of research, I've discovered that it was egg white powder mixed with dry milk and vanilla flavoring. Thats it! That's the "secret ingredient"! But it's not just the secret powder that makes it an Orange Julius - it's also the directions to make it. So here you go, no need for copy-cat recipes that use yogurt, frozen orange concentrate or ice cream. Just get these ingredients and a good blender and before you know it your friends and family will be saying "Give me an Orange Julius!" I'm jus' sayin'!



Orange Julius

The original Orange Julius as I was trained to make them in the early 80's

In your blender do the following in this order...
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (I swear this makes a difference)
1/2 cup simple syrup (I never said this was a healthy smoothie, just a treat)
1 tsp. dry milk powder (Seems like a little but it works)
1 tsp. egg white powder (you can find this in your bakery aisle where the cake mixes are)
1/2 tsp. of vanilla (this is the only part I differ from because vanilla powder has to be purchased on-line or in a specialty bake shop)
Now fill the rest of the blender up with crushed ice (Why crushed ice? Because it blends quicker with the powders to create that frothy lightness)

Thats it! That's the real deal my friends.

21 comments:

  1. Oh my, I love these!! My husband and I were just talking about how much we missed getting a Orange Julius at the mall. I tried to recreate one without much success. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    PS Cutting and Juicing 75 oranges in only 10 minutes - I'm impressed!!

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    1. It's easy with a power juicer. You just hold the orange half against the powered reamer. I got to like them with an egg (this had always been offered) when working at a California stand in the 1960s. We never had to meet a quota; we just squeezed enough to keep a pitcher ready. For at home I found powdered milk was good enough as the secret ingredient. It was interesting to note the flavor variation with the seasons - depending on whether we were using naval or valencia oranges.
      Does anyone remember all the names of the hotdogs - there were Devil Dog, Pickle Pooch, ...what else?

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    2. Riley,
      Good question, I only remember the Chicago Dog.

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  2. Well I hope you will enjoy this recipe Steph. When I was first told I had to do 75 oranges I thought I would never be able to do it-It's amazing when you do things over and over how easy it becomes. Let me know how it turns out for you.

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  3. I'ma need an orange julius RIGHT NOW. How fun that I get the recipe straight from the horse's mouth. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. My pleasure-actually it does sound good right now-bummer I'm out of OJ.

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  5. I could not resist commenting. Ρerfеctly written!


    My blog :: click here

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  6. You said the simple syrup was a half a cup...how much sugar?

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    1. Simple Syrup is 1 part sugar to 2 parts water. So 1 cup of sugar dissolved in 2 cups water. Bring to a boil until and then cool.

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    2. Thanks girlongrits!

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  7. Of all the so-called Orange Julius recipes, I think you nailed it perfectly. I used to watch the employees prepare this concoction at the Tahoe City CA Julius stand. I remember the secret powder and OJ sitting in the blender canisters waiting next to the blenders to fill orders that the employees then added ice and blended. I was always trying to figure out what was in that powder as a 10 year old kid at the time. That particular stand always offered a choice of with nutmeg on top or not. I always had it with nutmeg and think that it polishes off the drink perfectly.

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    1. Wow! When I worked at OJ we never had nutmeg. That would be really tasty. Thanks for the suggestion and for stopping by the site.

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  8. I'm in my 60's so OJ is one of those drinks that someone can remember the taste of forever. It was so creamy, and to be honest, I don't even like oranges that much ... ah, but the OJ was the IT drink for me when I was younger. I had heard there were powdered eggs in it, but not about the powdered milk. Both are on my grocery list now. Today I took some of your recipe and changed it a bit to make my frothy OJ. Here is what I used.

    In blender, I added 1/2 frozen banana, I raw egg (I wash the shell with dish soap before cracking), 1/2 cup of half and half, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 6 juiced fresh oranges, and honey to taste.

    Note: I am not advocating using raw eggs due to possible contamination, so do so at your own risk. I will be getting powdered eggs at my next grocery store visit.

    Whirl away! I had put my orange juice in the freezer to chill it and used half of a frozen banana for a cold end result. I am blown away at the results and also feel that the honey is a healthier alternative to sugar water. I'm enjoying the "fruits" of my labor as I write this comment~! Yum!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your memories as well as your experiments on playing with the recipe. Funny thing about the eggs. We offered a "raw" egg as an added on the menu. Back then that was the only way to make it a "protein enriched" smoothie. I think in the later 80's they did away with the added raw egg to cover any liabilities. I am a big fan of farm eggs (whenever I can get them from my local farmers) and believe they are fine as long as they are cleaned like you did above. Nothing beats a farm egg IMO. Thanks for your comments. This is one of my most popular posts, I think because anyone who grew up with these drinks remembers them fondly. :)

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  9. Wow that is AWESOME! I only discovered Orange Julius after searching for the "Orange Julep" recipe (something we only have in my city, Montreal. Apparently it is similar but not exactly the same taste)
    I put my detective hat on and found a 90s video of these guys working at Orange Julius and making the drink, the directions were not clear since they were just fooling around, but this is PERFECT and it seems to match the real deal!

    Can't wait to make this... I hope my mom let's me buy all the ingredients LOL (I'm 17), and I hope they sell small amounts of milk powder and egg powder at the grocery store, I really don't feel like buying 1kg of milk powder just for an OJ!

    THANKS :D

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  10. Can I substitute for real milk and real eggwhites? or do i really have to use the powder?

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    1. Hi Nicole, Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I would love to see the link of the video that you were referring to. As for the real milk Yes of course you could use it. The powdered milk just leaves it a bit more frothy (the same with the dried egg whites) But as you can see from earlier comments raw egg (used at your own discretion) works just as well. I made a mock julius the other day using fresh OJ ice and vanilla almond milk. It blended up nice and was a good alternative to the high calorie original. Play around with the recipe and let me know how it turns out. :)

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  11. Wow! Thanks so much. So this recipe is for one Orange Julius, right? Give me an idea how much ice or how large your blender is. I think I'm using too much ice, and I'd love to hear what you all have figured out for the best amount.

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    1. One large or 2 medium servings. (I can drink a whole pitcher it's so tasty) I have a ninja blender now, but back when I wrote this I had a regular kitchen aid blender, I don't remember the exact amount of ice it filled. I've made this in my ninja single bullet as well where I use these approx measurements. 1/2 cup orange juice 3 tbs. of simple syrup. 1/2 tsp of milk powder 1/2 tsp of egg white and 1/4 tsp of vanilla. Honestly you should play around with the measurements. If you stick with the essential ingredients it should still taste spot on. Let me know how that works out for you. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. I can't find powdered egg whites. Can I substitute meringue powder?

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  13. Hi Peggy, It should work fine-the meringue powder has a few other stabilizers in it besides egg whites but nothing that should loose the froth effect you're going for. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by.

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