How to Make Orange Julius

MikeyGen73/iStock/Getty Images

Start to finish: 15 minutes Servings: 4 servings Difficulty level: Beginner

The Orange Julius company introduced its creamy, cool citrus drink in 1926, and it didn’t take long for customers to start experimenting with homemade versions of the first smoothie. Copycats abounded, with amateur mixologists trying to find the perfect “frothy” blend of milk and orange juice. You can replicate this bubbly orange concoction at home.


  • 1 6-oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate, unsweetened
  • 2 cups milk, whole or low-fat
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 to 9 ice cubes

Mixing Directions

Open the orange juice can and empty the contents in the blender. Add the milk, sugar and ice to the blender. Blend or puree the ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes, stopping occasionally to check the consistency. When fully blended, the Orange Julius is thick and creamy, like a smoothie.

Pour the drink into glasses and add a garnish, such as a lemon wedge, strawberry or sprig of mint.

Sugar Substitutions

Change the sugar content by increasing the sugar content to ½ cup if you prefer a sweeter drink. Or, use artificial sweetener instead of sugar; check the manufacturer’s website or packaging for conversion directions. For instance, granulated sucralose and aspartame match equally for sweetener-to-sugar conversions, while 1 ½ teaspoons of liquid saccharin is equal to ¼ cup of sugar.

Variations and Tips


  • Use the type of milk you prefer, such as almond or lactose-free.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to boost the flavor.

  • Instead of 2 cups of milk, use 1 cup milk and 1 cup water to lower the fat content and make a less rich version of the drink.

  • Replace the water with 1 cup of apple juice for a fruitier Orange Julius.


  • Orange Julius does not maintain its slushy, frothy quality in the refrigerator. Store leftover mixture in the freezer.

  • When you are ready to use the frozen Orange Julius, thaw the mixture until softened, spoon it into the blender and blend for 30 seconds to a minute until the consistency is slushy and frothy.