Remembering the Blues Brothers’ Famous ‘Orange Whip’ Cocktail

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The 1980s film “The Blues Brothers” features many a treasured gem, with outrageous stunts, hilarious lines, and incredible performances. Among the film’s best moments is one infamous line about an unfamiliar drink: the Orange Whip.

Centering around the recently released prisoner Jake (John Belushi) and his brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd), the film takes viewers on a musical journey as the two “blues brothers” attempt to raise money to save the orphanage they grew up in. However, though their intentions are good, trouble follows the brothers as they attempt to reunite their band and put on a one-of-a-kind show to raise the necessary funds.

The mention of the Orange Whip occurs during a scene in which parole officer Detective Burton Mercer (John Candy) attends the brothers’ big benefit concert. Before arresting Jake, Mercer allows the brothers to finish the performance. As he waits with two state troopers for the show to begin, Candy delivers the famous line: “Who wants an Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Three Orange Whips.”

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If you’ve ever watched this scene and thought the timing of the quote seemed bizarre, you’re not alone. In fact, rumor has it that Candy improvised the entire scene in an attempt to promote the orange beverage. As the story goes, the scene was created as a favor to one of the film’s costume designers, whose father worked for the Orange Whip Corporation. Having provided refreshments for the cast and crew, the designer asked director John Landis if Orange Whip could be mentioned in the movie. Fortunately for viewers, this request trickled down to Candy, who then brilliantly devised the witty remark.

The original drink, which contained no alcohol, was a fountain-style soda as seen in this image from photographer Robert Frank’s famous 1955 book “The Americans.” Like many of the soda brands of the ‘50s, the Orange Whip dwindled in popularity but enjoyed a brief resurgence after Candy’s famous line –– cementing its place in cocktail history.

The Orange Whip has since evolved into a boozy, tropical, and sweet Creamsicle-like cocktail made from simple ingredients found in many kitchens and bar carts: rum, vodka, triple sec, heavy cream, and, of course, orange juice. Each ingredient is added to a shaker and whipped into a frothy orange treat. Though the popularity of the Orange Whip has all but vanished, there remains a feeling of nostalgia associated with the creamy orange concoction thanks to Candy and his genius ad-lib.

Orange Whip Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • 2 ounces heavy cream

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker or cup with crushed ice, and shake to mix
  2. Pour into a Collins glass of your choice and garnish with an orange wheel