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
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…
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.
- 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.
How to Make Orange Julius
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
More Frozen Drinks
- BBC- Banana, Baileys and Coconut (only mine also has strawberries!)
- Mango Peach Smoothie
- Banana Smoothie
Copycat Orange Julius Recipe
- 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.