Orange Julius: It Lives! (Dairy Queen is Reviving the Brand) and Three Other Drinks That Should Have Survived the '80s
It's not really a smoothie, and it's definitely not a milkshake, but the Orange Julius -- that frothy, creamy, citrusy goodness -- is still something more than just juice.
Most of us became familiar with Orange Julius in the late '80s, when Dairy Queen bought the rights to the original 1920s beverage created by Julius Freed.
For the past couple of decades, it seemed like the independent Orange Julius stands of the '60s and '70s had become a thing of the past -- bad news for those of us wishing they could get their hands on one.
Lucky for us South Floridians, the chain has made a local comeback, opening its most recent Orange Julius DQ in West Palm Beach.
Why the comeback? According to Lane Schmiesing, vice president of brand marketing for the American Dairy Queen Corporation, DQ is working on expanding its brand to include a menu of premium fruit smoothies -- and Orange Julius Originals is the main drink headlining the revival.
"We've been working with Orange Julius as a separate brand for the past 20 years," Schmiesing told Clean Plate Charlie. "And, recently, we've been wanting to make the [drink] more accessible."
To do that, DQ has opened close to 1,000 new locations featuring Orange Julius Originals in several different flavor combinations -- as well as 13 flavorful fruit smoothies in both light and full-calorie versions -- nationwide in the past several months. All 4,500 U.S. locations are slated to be rebranded to include the new smoothie menu by the end of 2013.
While we couldn't be happier to see the return of the Orange Julius, we're sorry we can't say the same about a few more throwback beverages. Keep reading for a list of current South Florida DQ Orange Julius spots, and a look at three more awesome '80s drinks we miss:
3. Ecto Cooler from Hi-C
Even if Ghostbusters wasn't on your personal list of favorite '80s movies, Slimer -- that adorable green ghost -- was the mascot for one of your favorite drinks as a kid.
When Hi-C came out with Ecto Cooler in 1986, its electric green color made it look more like hazardous chemical waste than a tasty beverage, but that didn't stop kids everywhere from begging their parents to buy packs of juice boxes every time they went shopping.
Hi-C discontinued the product after a successful, decade-long run, replacing it with Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen (except it wasn't orange) and later Citrus Cooler. We're convinced that, without Slimer, it's just not the same.
2. Jolt Cola
C.J. Rapp invented Jolt in the mid-'80s as a super-caffeinated energy drink to help his friends stay up cramming for finals.
It was a time when many beverage companies were leaning towards less is best. With diet cola and sugar-free beverages in popular demand, Jolt took advantage of its slogan offering "twice the caffeine" of leading soft drinks.
Sadly, Jolt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. Although it's since been rebranded, nothing compares to the original, which used pure cane sugar instead of the less expensive high fructose corn syrup used today.
And who doesn't love that brown bolt of energy lightening?
Who remembers Burple, the fruit flavored drink mix packaged in accordion-like plastic containers? Yes, the one that stretched into full size and required you to add water to the container's liquid concentrate before you could drink it.
Kids loved the lunchbox size, while adults could make the Kool-Aid-type drinks in larger, full-size containers that came in grape, strawberry, cherry, peach, and orange.
But what was the point of an expandable container? We're not sure, but there's even a Facebook page dedicated to the memory of the forgotten Kraft "sports drink."
The only memory we have: getting hosed at the lunch table after a few kids took a tip from the instructions to convert the beverage into a handy squirt gun.
And, back to our original point, here's a list of Orange Julius locations in Palm Beach and Broward County:
7900 S Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach
Orange Julius Store
801 N Congress Ave.
Boynton Beach Mall
9369 W Atlantic Blvd., Coral Springs
7105 N Pine Island Rd., Tamarac
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.