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Try your luck with the Shamrock Shake

Art by Geena San Diego

The Shamrock Shake, a McDonald’s seasonal specialty. This delectable drink is brought to McDonald’s around February to commemorate Saint Patrick's Day and the luck of the Irish! Personally, the shake is my all-time favorite McDonald’s menu item. The Shamrock Shake is a green minty milkshake and it’s the epitome of heaven.

Before I begin, I must discuss a very important issue. There are two types of people, those who like minty desserts, and those who hate them. I am one that loves minty desserts. One person who doesn’t, however, is my dad. I think he speaks for most who hate minty treats, so I’ll use his words. He says they “taste like toothpaste”. Every time I try to get him to taste it, he refuses.

The thing is, the Shamrock Shake isn’t toothpaste minty. This is just my opinion, but the shake leaves a momentary fresh taste in your mouth, and then leaves a normal sugary aftertaste, like most desserts do. It doesn’t coat your mouth with mint, leaving your breath minty fresh. That would be cool, though… no more brushing my teeth! Hopefully my dentist doesn’t read this article. I’d be doomed.

Another thing to add, different McDonald’s employees make the shakes differently! Pulling up to the drive-thru, you may be handed a bright green shake, or a more muted, pastel green shake. It all depends on who makes it. Some employees add lots of mint syrup, darkening the color and enhancing the mint flavor. However, others add less, muting the color and flavor. I personally enjoy the extra minty shakes!

Now, let’s cut to the chase. The Shamrock Shake is basically a vanilla milkshake with mint syrup. Of course, you can’t forget the swirl of whipped cream on top. It tastes cold and fresh, with a nice mint green color. You end up wanting to slurp up every last bit. One of the best parts, however, is not even the shake itself. It’s the whipped cream! The whipped cream is SO GOOD!! I love it.

The Shamrock Shake is available at any participating McDonald’s…but, if it ever occurs that McDonald’s ice cream machine is broken (or Shamrock Season is long gone), you can still enjoy this shake. Making it at home is always an option! Here is a very simple recipe that you can make yourself.

*This is not my recipe.

By: Julie Kimball Fitzgerald

Yield: 2 large shakes

Total: 10 mins

Prep 10 mins

Servings: 2


  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream

  • 1 ¼ cups milk

  • ¼ teaspoon mint extract, or more to taste

  • 9 drops green food coloring

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, or to taste (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream, or to taste (Optional)

  • ½ teaspoon green decorator sugar, or to taste (Optional)


Step 1: Blend ice cream, milk, mint extract, and food coloring together in a blender until smooth.

Step 2: Drizzle chocolate syrup around inside walls of 2 tall glasses; pour shake into glass. Top with whipped cream and green decorator sugar.

Now you have no other option than to try this shake! You simply must try it! So, if you're near a Mcdonald’s, stop by the drive-thru or make this recipe at home. Enjoy the lovely minty drink.

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