Orange Julius

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Orange Julius is a frozen drink made from orange juice, crushed ice, sugar, and a “secret ingredient” that may contain powdered milk or egg whites and vanilla flavoring. The drink was originally sold from Orange Julius stands that became an iconic part of the Southern California landscape and eventually spread nationwide.

The brand was founded in 1926 when real estate broker Willard Hamlin secured a corner storefront in downtown Los Angeles for Julius Fried’s orange juice stand. This was the height of the soda fountain boom, with consumers developing a passion for novelty drinks. See soda fountain. Hamlin decided to invent his own concoction, the Orange Julius, which quickly became the stand’s hottest seller. Hamlin quit real estate and opened counters selling nothing but Orange Julius everywhere from Los Angeles to New York’s Times Square. For an energy boost, customers could have a raw egg cracked into the drink before blending. The brand’s mascot was a red devil who appeared over the tagline: “A Devilish Good Drink.”