Copycat Orange Julius Recipe

Nomsters! Surprisingly, many fellow Millennials we’ve talked to have never heard of Orange Julius. To give a brief history, the brand was started by two Southern California guys named Julius Freed and Bill Hamlin. Julius had opened up an orange juice stand in 1926, but it wasn’t doing too hot in the beginning. His buddy, Bill, also had a love of oranges, but couldn’t handle the acidity, so he started adding different ingredients to his orange juice to tone things down. The recipe made the drink much creamier and frothier with a taste kind of reminiscent of an orange creamsicle. He then introduced his creation to Julius in 1929, and after deciding to add the new drink to the menu at his orange juice stand, it became an instant hit!

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It was so popular, in fact, that it was named the official drink of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. But over the years, we’ve actually seen a bunch of locations closing down, which is a huge bummer because Orange Julius’s are SO good!

If you’ve never had one, we HIGHLY encourage you to try out this recipe that we’ve come up with after testing and tweaking several other recipe attempts out there. We think we’ve got it down!

Copycat Orange Julius Recipe

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 cups of orange juice (or 6oz orange juice concentrate + 1 cup of water)
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups of ice
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Simply pour the ingredients into your blender in the order in which they’re listed in the ingredients section above, and blend until smooth!

You’re looking for a frothy head to form at the top to know you’ve got the consistency right. In our experience, whole milk is the best milk option for texture and flavor. We tried skim and 2 percent, and both were a little too light and thin. Along those lines, the orange juice concentrate and water adds more of an orange punch to it, so you can swap that in instead of the regular orange juice if that’s your preference.

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One thing to note is that one cup of ice tends to give the drink more of a liquid consistency, where as 1.5 to 2 cups makes it more slushy. An actual Orange Julius you’d get from one of the brick and mortar locations is kind of in the middle, so start with 1 cup and see if you like that consistency and feel free to add more.

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