A Devilishly Good Cocktail

Every great cocktail begins with desire.

Evocative of a memory, or a good feeling.

The Emperor Julius is a boozy homage to my childhood.  In the 1960s, the fast-food franchise Orange Julius was found all over the United States, and Canada. They sold these frozen, non-alcoholic concoctions that, on a 46°c/115°F day, in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, was the Holy Grail of summer coolers.

There was an Orange Julius, within bike riding distance, from my childhood home, in Woodland Hills, California. Fifty cents worth of returned pop bottles were enough to get you medium. Good enough for me! I’d saddle up my green, banana seat Schwinn. A friend or two and I would head down to Ventura Boulevard, to return the bottles, and ride up to OJ’s. 

Whipped Orange Juice: An American Cultural Phenomenon

In 1928, Julius Freed opened a fresh orange juice stand. His realtor, and friend, Bill Hamlin,  loved the juice. Just one problem: it upset his stomach.

Bill came up with a “seven ingredient” formula, which includes a bit of egg white powder, and vanilla, to make it less acidic. When whipped up, with some ice, in a blender, it also made it extra cold, and delicious.

The Orange Julius was born.

After many years, and many owners, Dairy Queen bought the brand, converted their stores to DQs, and added Orange Julius as a menu item.

Cocktail Fit for an Emperor

The fusions of fresh orange juice, that hint of vanilla, and the frothy foaminess of it, were memorable.
So I started  playing with ingredients that would bring together that palette, with a beautifully boozy swirl around it.
The bourbon and vodka is much like Bill Hamlin’s solution to the acidity of the orange juice.  It smooths out the flavors. The DROP of Aperol is the pivot point. Too much, and the drink goes bitter. It should be sweet, but not sugary, boozy, and juicy, with a frothy top.


* Bartenders may use this recipe professionally. If on a menu, please credit “Emperor Julius, by The Jazz Chef.”

This is a boozy cocktail, on the stronger side. Any bourbon works, but, for this cocktail, might I recommend Old Forester 100

From the Brown-Forman distillery family, it remains one of the “best bang for your buck” bourbons in the market today.  With 100 proof, to put a little kick into your mixology?  


RecipesThe Jazz Chef

Emperor Julius


My Emperor Julius cocktail is a boozy, orange-creamsicle-styled tribute, a magical, mixological trip down memory lane, perhaps, of my bike rides down to the Orange Julius, on Ventura Boulevard, in Woodland Hills, California.

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The Jazz Chef
the authorThe Jazz Chef
Educating chef, managing editor, writer, blogger, filmmaker documentarian AND... in charge of the sheep dip. Ay-men!