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.

46 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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    3. Thank you for sharing this with all of us Orange Julius lovers... Your story made me cry, not a normal response for most of your readers, I however grew up in Los Angeles raised by my father at the age of 3 and he was a LA City Firefighter! Going to the Northridge mall and getting a O.J. was a regular routine and a Cupid's hot dog. Two of our fav. things to do on his days of from the firestation. Oh more tears, my father was recently killed, I seem to cry over the strangest things and the memory of that flavor of the O.J. is apparently a trigger as well. I appreciate this and will get the ingredients so I can make them at home whenever the desire arises, most likely every day... As I juice lemons daily, and if you use the white part it comes out of the juicer looking white and frothy and I always think of the O.J.


      Waiting for my Valencia Orange tree to give me a good supply to juice them as well. My grandma who took care of me a lot when my dad was at the firestation had a Valencia and a Navel tree in her backyard in sherman oaks, she would go out and pick the oranges off the tree and then make me Fresh juice every morning, the taste of truly fresh picked off the tree minets before drinking it, is a taste so wonderful, the containers of fresh is nothing like the real deal, the ripeness is the key to the incredible taste. Thank you again, I am so glad I found your site in my search for the answer to the exact taste of the O.J.

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    4. Dear Juice Lover, Now I'm the one with teary eyes. Thank you so much for sharing such a heartfelt memory with me. My Daddy's been gone for 19 years and I still get sentimental when I hear a johnny cash song or a can of coors beer or the taste of worthers butterscotch candies, so I completely get your sentiments. My heart goes out to you and I can only imagine how difficult his death must be for you. My grandma was a big citrus fan as well (I remember her grapefruits from her tree). I was her caretaker the last 3 years of her life, she brought a small meyer lemon tree to our home in a pot. When we moved 15 years ago to Texas we brought that tree on our moving truck. It now stands proudly in the ground in our backyard and has become quite famous in Austin. It produces over 1000 lemons each season and we make limoncello. I have blood oranges (not as prolific) and many limes. I sure do miss the California weather and those Oranges. I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope it brings a delicious memory of that very special time y'all shared. Blessings, Kristina

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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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    1. Yes, that is what I do. I omit the sugar also since orange juice is sweet anyway. I buy the Simply Orange pulp free.

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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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  14. I have the secret ingredient - It is vanilla instant pudding mix. Trust me this will make a perfect orange Julius!

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    1. I have often thought about using instant pudding mix but have never tried it. How much do you use?

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  15. I remember getting these as a little girl every time we went to Florida. Mine would come in a plastic cup that looked just like an orange with a green straw.
    Yum

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    1. Wow! Lela I forgot about those orange cups. If I recall they had them when I was a kid but by the time I started working in the early 80's they had switched to paper cups. Thanks for reminding me. And thanks for stopping by the blog.

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  16. Thanks, just started adding smoothies to my a.m. meal. But, I am trying to lose weight so they are protein smoothies so far. Could I used splenda or another sweetner besides simple syrup - I'm diabetic. Thanks ! p.s. IF not, I'll drink your recipe, but sparingly !

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    1. Of course you could substitute splenda for simple syrup just make sure you have the same amount of water (1/2 cup) for the recipe. As you prob know OJ is full of sugar so be careful. I found this recipe on the internet. It won't be authentic but it will still satisfy the Julius cravings. http://addapinch.com/cooking/sugar-free-orange-julius-recipe/ Also you might want to try substituting this in the julius for the simple syrup and pull back a bit on the OJ. http://www.webstaurantstore.com/torani-750-ml-sugar-free-orange-flavoring-syrup/880372411.html?utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=Product_Ads&utm_term=880372411 Play around with it and if you come up with a great sugar free julius please come back and share. If you want some really good low glycemic smoothie recipes I did this post a while back. It has several smoothie options you might enjoy. http://girlgonegrits.blogspot.com/2012/09/detox-days.html Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Have a wonderful day!

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  17. I never worked there but have recently thought that was powdered egg whites after seeing egg white used in certain cocktails. Im going to try this. I think you nailed it.

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    1. Thanks Susan, Please let me know how it turned out for you. Every once in awhile I have to venture over to a DQ to my julius fix. Nothing quite like it.

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  18. Im using a large vitamix blender so can you give me an estimate of how many cups of ice I should use? I don't want to water it down

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    1. Good Afternoon, Since my recipe called for a traditional sized blender, I'm going to guestimate 2 cups of crushed ice. Without actually having a vita mix (jealous, as that's always been on my bucket list of appliances.) I think you may have to play around with the ice quantities. Sorry the answer is not more precise. If you get the right balance, I'd love for you to post here. Thanks.

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    2. Oh my what a drink! You have TOTALLY nailed this drink! I used 24 oz. of crushed ice and it was perfect! I couldn't find egg whites in the baking aisle but I did find it in the nutrition aisle next to the protein powders and workout drinks. ALSO, I used to love their banana and their strawberry drinks. Should I just use 1 cup of banana or 1 cup of strawberry in place of the cup of Orange juice? THANK YOU for your recipe! !

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    3. I'm so glad you liked it. As for the banana and strawberry, we actually (when working in the store)just added the one banana to the already prepped orange julius as well as a scoop of thawed frozen strawberries. But you do not need to do that at home, you can omit the orange juice, just make sure you replace with equal portions of liquid. The only one that I recall leaving the OJ out was the Pina Colada as we used pineapple juice in it's place. Have fun exploring!

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  19. START ADDING 1/2 CUP OF ICE AND BLEND UNTIL IT TASTES EXACTLY RIGHT TO YOUR TASTE... TOO MUCH ICE WILL RUIN IT!!

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  20. P.S. DON'T FORGET TO ADD ONE OR TWO WHIPPED EGGS TO IT!!! YUMM YUMM

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  21. I went to the Mall last week as I was craving and Orange Julius. Imagine my shock when I watched the guy make it with Fanta Orange soda pop. It was so sweet with all the other simple syrup etc, that I got a sugar rush and the crash that happens afterwards. I have always made mine with Meringue Powder you can get a baking stores by Wilton. It is identical to this recipe. This is the real deal. I will never buy one at the mall again. Why pay $5.00 for a soda drink?

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  22. @jasatt I can't even imagine using fanta orange soda to make anything remotely "original". What a tremendous disappointment that must have been. I know we have dairy queens out here that serve the "original" but I did notice it was a bit sweeter. Now I know why, thanks for cracking that code and posting here.Sadly it looks like the only true "Originals" will be made in our homes for now on. :)

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  23. Omg, omg, OMG!! You've changed my life!
    Do you know you're the only one, the ONLY ONE, to make an authentic recreation? Most are missing the powdered egg. Many have OJ concentrate. Most don't have milk. I knew from searching years ago there was egg powder in it. What I'd been missing all this time is POWDERED MILK! I feel so stupid! I can't wait to try this blend of ingredients. Even the king of copycat, Todd Wilbur, provides a disappointing unconvincing substitute.
    Thanks again !
    PS thanks also for the pineapple juice tip, I bought a pineapple Julius every day when pregnant. Any idea what they use to amp up the strawberry Julius besides strawberries?

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    1. Ahhhh Taracu, thank you for your sweet comments. I hope this recipe works for you and brings you back to the original taste. It's funny how this has become (over the years) my most popular post. Just goes to show you how delicious this drink was. Please let me know how you like it after you make it. I think part of the flavor just comes from memories and the nostalgia that we hold so dear. As for the Strawberry, we would take a scoop of thawed frozen berries and mix with the original orange. I'm not positive but I'm guessing back then that the strawberries were previously frozen in a syrup (which may have made the drink sweeter?) I don't know that we were as health conscience back then as we are now. I remember when you ordered "extra protein" we would crack a raw egg in the julius, after a while that ended, due to the health dept not being able to control the egg temp in the stores. I've been told that when Dairy Queen bought the copyright, they have changed the original quite a bit. I've even heard that the OJ was replaced with fanta orange (so sad) anyways, hope you like this recipe. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  24. DQ DOESN'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO WHAT THE ORIGINAL TASTED LIKE !!! I ALWAYS HAD THEM ADD 2 EGGS TO MINE !!! AND WHEN THEY QUITE WITH THE EGGS, I BROUGHT MY OWN FOR THEM TO ADD !!! HA !!! WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A WAY !!!!

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    1. I love that you brought your own eggs in and it cracks me up that they used them. Can you imagine trying that now? I'm pretty certain DQ would think they are being pranked. And yes always a way.......

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  25. Hi, Thanks for your article on how to make an authentic Orange Julius, FINALLY! OK so here's something you might find a little weird but true. My sister told me once that she thought an OJ's tasted a little like a children's aspirin. Remember the classic orange chew-able children's aspirin. I know it's weird but it's true, the OJ has a weird kind of taste, it's curious if you will. Anyway, I'm weird and my sister's weird, but it's still true. Thanks again.

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    1. Hi Anonymous, Not weird at all. I have no doubt that the baby aspirin was made with citric acid which would def impart that same interesting taste. I do remember those aspirins, my mom had to hide them from me and my brothers because we loved the way they tasted. I love how this post has conjured up so many different memories for so many. Thanks so much for sharing yours.

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