Review of Orange Julius

Traxler Barnes

The following is a student submission from Mrs. Reichenbach’s Dual Credit English 102 class:

Growing up, Orange Julius was one of my favorite treats.  The creamy citrus flavor of the drink still reminds me of dreamy summer days. After drawing with chalk, creating what could only be called “a sidewalk masterpiece,” I heard my mom open the garage door, cups of orange bliss in her hands. I was so excited that the chalk basically blinked out of existence. Orange Julius has always been a big deal to me. My family makes the drink with our own special recipe. We begin with half of a frozen orange juice concentrate, a splash of milk,  some sugar, water, ice, and finally our own not-so-secret ingredient, vanilla. My favorite part of orange julius is the sweet and creamy flavor, which we always have enhanced with a little vanilla. Further, the ice cream-like texture always manages to bring back fun summer days, like getting slushies in July. Fortunately for me, sweet little moments, like making orange julius, never stop bringing back the happy feelings. Remembering the flavor of orange julius has me craving it as I write this. 

I know, even though it may have felt like it at times, that my family didn’t invent the frosty drink. Orange Julius was first created in Los Angeles by Willard Hamlin, a real estate broker for a man named Julius Freed. He concocted the dessert as a solution to regular orange juice irritating Freed’s stomach. As I was a kid with chronic stomach problems,  it’s ironic to find that a potential substitute to overly acidic OJ was right under my nose, or more accurately, my lips. Like myself, Julius frequently drank orange juice. He had owned a small orange juice stand in downtown L.A., but had grown an unfortunate intolerance to citric acidity. Orange Julius began as nothing more than a home ready for his stomach troubles. Originally, according to San José Public Library, “Orange Julius, consisted of fresh orange juice, crushed ice, syrup, and a powder which remained a company secret.” As Freed grew fond of the drink he considered that it may be a great addition to his small OJ shop’s lineup. Freed was right, and slowly, traffic flocked to his stand to try Orange Julius. Many people enjoyed the icy treat with a popular add-on being offered, a raw egg! As strange as it may seem today, adding a raw egg to the drink was touted as a health benefit and flavor enhancement. Though I find the idea of mixing a raw egg into my orange julius nauseating, I can admire the creative options that Julius Freed gave customers. Soon enough, people loved the creamy flavor of Orange Julius, and couldn’t get enough. Hamlin noticed the success of the drink he made for his friend, and eventually bought out the company from Julius. Hamlin worked on expanding sales and availability by opening up more treat and juice stands. In 1967, after selling to a larger company, nearly 700 Orange Julius stands were opened and began operating around the world. The widespread love of orange julius didn’t slow for a second. Eventually, the delectable drink was added to the Dairy Queen franchise, growing the the large consumer-following we know today. Just walking into malls and around towns many people will spot an orange julius stand, ready to serve the drink and many modern variations, or twists, to drooling customers. 

I have always loved julius, but I find that nothing can beat the homemade stuff. Regardless, orange Julius is great example of the importance of savoring sweet moments. I am happy to know that the drink can bring us all together with a unique capability to spark joy, regardless of its recipe. Even though orange julius can be a lot of effort to mix and make, it is worth it, for both the sweet taste and the happy feelings it can bring. Putting in a small bit of effort to make something great, like orange julius pays off. Simply putting aside a few minutes to do something, just for my own happiness seems to feel wrong, or selfish. The more I think about it, the more I realize that being productive isn’t always the best thing. It is important to do little things to make ourselves happy, and everytime I look back these little sweet moments, I remind myself of the importance of enjoying the little things. Who cares what the wider society may say about my happiness? Taking the time to do tiny efforts to bring myself joy, like making orange julius has been one of the most important changes in my life. Enjoying the sweet little moments that life offers has led me to being happier overall. I really enjoy the beauty of life when I give myself the space to build my own joy. Orange julius is a fantastic show of the way that seemingly mundane things can give life a sense of meaning. So, I happily give orange julius five out of five stars, joy is beautiful thing.

Work Cited

Pearce, Ralph. “Looking Back: A Devilish Good Drink; Remembering Orange Julius.” San Jose Public Library, 28 August 2019, Accessed 9 February 2023.