Orange Julius has done a very good job of seeping its way into the American subconscious over the past 80 years. Even if you don’t exactly know what Orange Julius is, or even whether it still exists, you’ve certainly heard of it. Well prepare yourself, because by the time you’re finished reading this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about this American classic.
Orange Julius got its start as a Los Angeles orange juice stand in 1926, run by one Julius Freed. It wasn’t very successful until Freed’s real estate broker, in an effort to lower the acid level so his stomach could handle it, added ice, sugar, milk, egg whites, and vanilla to the juice. The resulting product was creamy, frothy, and pretty darn tasty, and a legend was born.
The new drink took off, especially during the 1950s and ’60s, when it was sold at local fairs as well as free-standing stands. It continued expanding through the 1970s and ’80s, but the most watershed moment since the company’s founding came in 1987, when it was bought by Dairy Queen. Since then, most Orange Julius outposts have been located within Dairy Queens, and at some DQ locations, the menus have even merged. Orange Julius also sells a wide variety of smoothies, and some offer hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pita pockets.
The recipe for the traditional Julius hasn’t changed much since its early days, except for the fact that powdered egg whites are now used to give the drink its frothy consistency. And if you’ve never had one, you should check it out the next time you find yourself in its vicinity; it has a Creamsicle thing going on that’s pretty tasty, and, simply put, it’s edible Americana.
Read on to learn even more about this venerable chain.
The Name Evolved for a Very Logical Reason
Fans of the drink lined up for it, and, as the legend goes, they’d order one by saying, “Give me an orange, Julius!” It stuck.
The Original Stand Also Sold Medicinal Tonics and Bible Tracts
Now that’s what I call diversification!