The Boozy Julius

The place: The Trumbull Mall, Trumbull, Connecticut. The year: 1989. The snack: a soft pretzel and an Orange Julius. I was ten or eleven and I loved going to the mall with my mom, grandmother, cousins and aunts. I would browse for the latest installment of The Babysitter’s Club series or the newest Mary Higgins Clark novel at Walden Books, play driving games in the arcade at the old, dodgy end, and get lost in the racks of party dresses and tables of ties in the stuffy with perfume department store. Those memories are starting to go fuzzy, tinted by time and nostalgia. I’d like so much to be back there for a moment, but we can only move forward through time.

Before there was sea salted caramel ice cream, airy gelato, pints of chunky Ben and Jerry’s, Pink Berry, Tasti D-Lite, TCBY, Jamba Juice, astronaut bars, King Cones and Coffee Coolatas, we had the Orange Julius. It should be gross. It should curdle or taste all sour in your mouth. Instead it’s exquisite, strangely addictive, sweet, tangy and delicious. It tastes like the end of an era. I was desperately in need of a blender drink today – something uplifting to sip through a straw. It was rainy here, dreary all day and we’re all still getting over a wicked cold. I decided the liquor should be rum, because it pairs so well with tropical juice, but vodka or bourbon would also work.

The Boozy Julius
Serves 4


  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 oz rum
  • 2 cups ice


Whiz all ingredients in the blender until smooth and creamy. Sip slowly and repeat.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

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