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Orange Julius: This Frothy, Frosty Copycat Tastes Just Like the Original

By Brooke McLay |

There are moments in one’s life that one is tremendously proud of.  Prowling the mall in the mid-nineties with a side ponytail and bright red lipstick isn’t one of my proudest moments, but it may have been my most delicious.  Mom had dropped me and two other friends at the mall, each of us toting a jean purse, 13 years of life experience, and an overconfident swagger.  Alone.  We were alone and the world was ours.  We had time a plenty to oogle the gangly preteen boys playing Pacman in the arcade.  Time to peek our head’s into Spencer’s and try not to get caught by the cards of half-dressed men wearing tanned abs and bowties.  Time to  ride the escalator up and down, up and down, posting toes on the edge of the stair in front of us like fashion models working th runway.  Time to suck on our own Orange Julius drinks–those perfect, frosty beverages that taste like a good summer day.  Somewhere in the middle of this day, my lipstick smeared, a boy in the arcade shouted at us that were were ‘lame’, and I dropped my purse on the escalator, but somehow failed to step on it with both feet.  So, that wasn’t hot.

It’s okay.  We weren’t going for hot.  We were going for cool.  And, while we likely failed to reach a goal so lofty as “cool,” one thing’s for sure.  That Orange Julius was the best part of the day.  It still is.  But, being sleek and grownup as I am now, I don’t even attempt a trip to the mall.  Nor do I wear side ponytails.  ‘Cause I’ve got a secret recipe for Copycat Orange Julius that I can make at home.  And anyways, I never did quite master riding the escalator with panache.

Orange Julius Copycat

  • 6 ounces orange juice concentrate (just scoop it right out of the freezer can, then put the rest back in the fridge for later)
  • 4 cups milk (my kids love whole milk in this recipe the best)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ice

Place all ingredients in your blender.  Blend until frothy.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

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About Brooke McLay


Brooke McLay

Brooke McLay is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer, and cooking show host for Babble, General Mills, and Good Cook. You can find and follow her latest whims at Cheeky Kitchen. Read bio and latest posts → Read Brooke's latest posts →

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13 thoughts on “Orange Julius: This Frothy, Frosty Copycat Tastes Just Like the Original

  1. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says:

    I live in the boondocks and I haven’t had an Orange Julius since I was 14, which I hate to say was a long time ago! Great of you to share this delightful treat!

  2. Lauren says:

    Cool! This is the EXACT recipe my mom uses! I love it. Childhood favorite. :)

  3. Jessica says:

    Just thinking of orange julius really makes me want to make these! They look amazing. The only problem is that I live in the UK now and we don’t have OJ concentrate here. Is there any substitute which I can use?

  4. Mommy Hates Cooking says:

    Can’t wait to try this one soon!

  5. kearsten says:

    I was gonna ask the same thing, Jessica! No concentrate, which stinks….I need some sometimes for different recipes that I don’t get to make cause it’s not available. boo!

  6. jodi says:

    Just made this for my kiddies, and all of our thumbs are way up! Reminds me of my days at the mall in the mid and late 80s. :)

  7. Thanks friend. That has been interesting seeing

  8. Jennette says:

    I’ve tried a homemade orange julius before, but I just used OJ and vanilla ice cream. I’m going to have to try this recipe :)

  9. Rikki Webb says:

    Just made this and it makes a LOT. Almost overflowed from my blender. I think next time I will add a little more ice and a lot less milk. 4 cups seems WAY too much. But the taste sure does bring back memories of my childhood.

  10. Steph says:

    I can’t have milk- could I use coconut or soy milk do you think? I used to LOVE Orange Julius’s when I was a kid and now I REALLY want one:-)

  11. KHRISTIAN says:

    Thanks for taking time to write a reflective article that brings back so many memories too, I forgot about. I’m thinking you meant 80′s because by the 90′s I wasn’t wearing side pony tails anymore, lol! I am wondering if one could juice there own orange juice, freeze it, then use with ice, milk, and a little sweetener. Maybe even throw in a 1/2 c. of vanilla yogurt,ie. greek may taste good. Love the recipe! And your creativity!
    Cheers to the good ol’ dayz!
    mom of three and class of ’92

  12. Mom says:

    I have the exact same recipe but the milk is listed at 1/2 cup, not four cups.

  13. Jann says:

    I’ve been making this in single servings for myself recently, using Almond Milk in place of regular milk. I put about a 1/4 cup of crushed ice in my Ninja, about 1/2 cup almond milk, a small dribble of vanilla, and about 2 tablespoons of frozen OJ concentrate. Mix til smooth and yum!
    For those that don’t have access to frozen OJ concentrate, I’d suggest using super cold (semi-frozen?) orange juice and omit the ice.

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