Orange Julio

Smoothies rock.

Remember the Orange Julius? Mercer Mall in Princeton - the best Orange Julius. Hmmm.

This is the recipe, sorta, along with some minor spin-off alternations:

1 cup - Water
1/2 cup - Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice
2 cups - Milk
1/2 cup - Sugar
1 tsp. - Vanilla Extract
8-9 - Ice Cubes

Of course, the REAL recipe is locked underground somewhere (or maybe this is it?), and experimenting to get your own version just right is more fun than precicesly replicating someone else's smoothie anyway (and sometimes, will taste better too). Variations are infinite.

Some Common Variations and Alternatives:

- Experiment with the ratio of milk to water. More milk makes it creamier and heavier.

- Using more or less sugar - include experimenting with no sugar at all

- Add ice cream, vanilla is a good place to start

- Add plain, vanilla, or fruit-infused yogurt

- Add frozen yogurt

- Add sorbet

- Use simple syrup instead of vanilla syrup

- Add a teaspoon or two of lemon and/or lime juice

- Add 1-2 raw eggs

- Use less/more ice cubes

- Include a teaspoon of salt

- Use fresh squeezed orange juice instead of frozen concentrate

- Use 1-2 whole, peeled & seeded oranges instead of juice

- Add apples, berries of any genre, pears, bananas or any other fruit you like

- Add anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 full package of vanilla pudding mix

- Add a drizzle up to 1/2 cup of cream of coconut

- Add 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of orange-flavored extract (or even orange liqueur)

- Add a pinch of grated orange, lemon, or lime peel

- Add a pinch of ground cardamon seed

- Add a teaspoon of honey, or substitute greater quantities by replacing sugar

- Try using crushed instead of cubed ice

- Try freezing ice-cubes made from orange (or other) juice - and use in place of regular cubes

- Anything else you can think of...

Blend on high until frothy. Drink up.

Tip for achieving ideal consistency - add all ingredients, and then begin blending in ice little-by-little, cube-by-cube, etc until it is your desire thickness.