Orange Julius

This Orange Julius copycat recipe can be made in 5 minutes or less. There is even an adults-only version with an added splash of vodka or champagne. The perfect sweet treat for a hot summer day

close up of three jars of orange julius with text overlay for facebook


 

Like the Shopping Mall Drink?

Yes, as in that delicious overpriced drink, Orange Julius at the Dairy Queen in the mall. I remember begging for these when we visited the mall as a child.

I’m not joking when I tell you I never wanted anything more than one of these! Unfortunately, my mother never let me have one. But she did make this exact recipe for me at home.

On those outings we usually were visiting the leotard store. Remember those? Jazzercise and Jane Fonda? Oh, how I loved those trips! Picking out matching tights, a leotard and headband was great fun. FEEL THE BURN!

We used to do a Mommy and Me Jazzercise class too. Now I just hit the gym in an oversized t-shirt and thinning, anti-fat shake yoga pants. When I actually make it there…

three orange julius drinks

History

Still, an Original Orange Julius holds a sentimental place in my heart. My mother was the one who shared this secret recipe with me.

I found it written on a notecard in her wooden recipe box on the kitchen counter labeled The REAL Orange Julius recipe. Because obviously there are the UNREAL Orange Julius recipes out there too. 

Who knows if it is actually the real thing, but I put them in a side-by-side taste test and I couldn’t tell the difference. If you’ve never had one, they are a mix between fruit smoothies and a Disney Dole Whip and trust me they’ll be the best thing you’ve ever tasted.

Being a healthy woman, she very rarely allowed us to enjoy an Orange Julius at the mall or at home, so I also see them as quite a treat. Now as an adult, I can attest to them being even more delicious when I add a splash of vodka or even champagne!

Orange Julius started in 1926 in Los Angeles, California by a man named Julius Freed. So thank you Mr. Freed for this delicious summer refreshment. Did you know the original, original Orange Julius recipe called for raw eggs? Yep, you read that right- raw eggs. The egg whites in particular helped to achieve that frothy, creamy texture.

I believe they still might use egg white powder. However, as you can see, the recipe has since evolved, and you can still achieve that delicious, creamy drink without the need for eggs.

orange slice and straw in orange julius

Ingredients

  • Frozen orange juice concentrate – Of course, you could use regular orange juice, but you will need to add more ice to make up for the consistency change.
  • Milk – I prefer to use skim milk for this copycat orange julius recipe. However, whole milk would work too. I’ve never tried making it dairy free, but coconut milk or almond milk would definitely change the flavor- although not necessarily in a bad way.
  • Sugar – Although orange juice concentrate is already fairly sweet, we do need to add a little white sugar to achieve the taste of that original recipe.
  • Vanilla extract – This is the secret ingredient that adds something extra to this refreshing treat. It almost makes it tastes like an orange creamsicle.
  • Ice cubes – the amount of ice needed depends on how thick or thin you like your drink. I usually fill my blender ¾ full with ice
  • Vodka or Champagne – These are of course optional, and would definitely be different than the original orange julius smoothie. But on a hot day, I love adding a little something fun to my happy hour cocktail list!
  • Orange Slice – Fresh oranges can be used as a garnish to really complete your easy orange julius recipe.
orange julius overflowing out of mason jar

How to Make Orange Julius

  1. Combine orange juice concentrate through vanilla into blender. Fill blender to ¾ full with ice. Blend until smooth. Consistency of orange juice concentrate can vary, so you can add more water if the beverage is too thick.
  2. If you are adding vodka to the whole batch, add with the rest of ingredients when blending. If adding to individual drinks, add the shot straight to serving glass and stir before serving. If you choose to use champagne do NOT add during the blending process, it will decrease the carbonation. Add it to each glass individually and stir gently or just use it as a floater.
collage of how to make orange julius

Variations

  • Change the flavor – Although technically it wouldn’t be the classic orange julius recipe without the orange flavor, you could really switch out the juice concentrate for any flavor. Try pineapple concentrate for instance.
  • Add ice cream – Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or orange sherbet and enjoy! You can even make them float style by pouring the orange julius drink over the scoops of ice cream instead of blending them in.
collage of orange julius for pinterest

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orange julius with orange slice with text overlay for pinterest
three orange julius drinks

Copycat Orange Julius Recipe

4.43 from 26 votes
Copycat Orange Julius is the REAL recipe they use at the store! A frothy, frozen orange drink that is perfect for sipping on a hot day.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine the orange juice concentrate, milk, water, sugar and vanilla into a high powered blender. Blend until smooth. Consistency of orange juice concentrate can vary, so you can add more water if the beverage is too thick.
  • Add ice to about 3/4 of the way full and blend until a drinkable texture.
  • Pour into glasses and garnish with an orange slice.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Video

Notes

Vodka or champagne is optional.  
If you are adding vodka to the whole batch, add 4 ounces (1 regular sized shot glass = 1 ounce, so 4 shot glasses) with the rest of ingredients when blending. If adding to individual drinks, add the shot straight to serving glass and stir before serving. If you choose to use champagne do NOT add during the blending process, it will decrease the carbonation. Add it to each glass individually and stir gently or just use it as a floater.

Nutrition

Calories: 188 kcal, Carbohydrates: 44 g, Protein: 3 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 30 mg, Potassium: 382 mg, Sugar: 44 g, Vitamin A: 285 IU, Vitamin C: 58.7 mg, Calcium: 88 mg, Iron: 0.1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 188
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: orange crush recipe, orange julius, orange julius recipe
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. This is the recipe I’ve been looking for. Made it as a kid and will bring back memories. Thanks. It always turned out perfect.

  2. 5 stars
    Surprised my kids with this amazing treat. They couldn’t believe it was homemade. So nice, flavorful and just like the mall. I think we have new summer favorite drink !

  3. 5 stars
    Ahhh, Mall Days. Some good memories there, and a stop at Orange Julius was always a treat; especially in the summer. (I’m old enough to remember when they used to put a raw egg in it for a small upcharge!) This copycat recipe is spot-on and so refreshing! Thanks so much!

  4. 5 stars
    Orange Julius was a favorite growing up – this recipe reminds me to make it a tradition for my kids as well! SO yummy!

  5. 5 stars
    OH YES!!!!
    My boys are totally in love with these!!!
    I am in love with the fact I can make them at home and don’t have to drag two kids to the mall.

    1. 5 stars
      I’m guessing this is my mother and that is fine, you can keep it a secret. 🙂