Take a break for McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

Coming back with a hint of mint, McDonald’s iconic Shamrock Shake is back for another year of ‘lovin it’. McDonald’s Shamrock Shake has now been available for over 50 years.


Arrowhead photo by Sierra Lauer

Shamrockin’ it…Jamming out to some pop music, sophomore Cayley Atkinson enjoys the sweet treat of her Shamrock Shake. The Shake is a limited-time offer at McDonald’s.

By bringing back its classic shake for St. Patrick’s Day, McDonald’s fast food franchise takes in their fifty-second green season to make its history more and more known.
“The Shamrock Shake is my favorite milkshake at McDonald’s. I think it’s a lot of fun because it’s green and has whipped cream,” social studies teacher Matt Fruita said.
Fruita is not the only one who feels this way.
In the 1960’s, Hal Rosen, a Connecticut owner and operator created the shake to help promote McDonald’s around St. Patrick’s Day.
It later made its debut in select locations across the U.S. in the 1970’s, and was an ‘instant success.’
“I am going to have to guess we sell around 15,000 Shamrock Shakes a year,” McDonald’s employee Andrew Reichman said.
With the Shamrock Shake being a popular choice during the months it is available, there has been a lot of work done to get the perfect combination of ingredients.
According to The Hartford Courant newspaper, “Mark Rosen recalls his father coming up with a number of combinations before perfecting the final taste.”
The minty shake has gone through many different eras in time but the original cannot be changed.
“There are few ingredients that go into the shake,” former McDonald’s employee Austin Russ said. “What goes into the shamrock shake [today] is reduced fat, vanilla ice cream mix as well as mint syrup.”
The Hartford Courant stated, “Rosen noted that the Shamrock Shake is the only McDonald’s shake that does not reveal the flavor in its name.”
The shake was not always this way though.
“To me it tastes like toothpaste and melted ice cream,” Russ said.
Some might say the shake tastes lemon lime-ish and others would say minty fresh.
Others just like to indulge in the shake.
“Giving fans another way to enjoy the classic Shamrock Shake flavor, [they] introduced the ‘Shamrock Sundae’ for a limited time in the 1980s,” said McDonald’s corporate site. “The ‘Shamrock Sundae’ consists of vanilla soft serve ice cream topped with a mint-green Shamrock syrup.”
Not only did they release the ‘Shamrock Sundae,’ but over the course of forty plus years McDonald’s has launched over five other versions of the original, as well as a little twist to the classic.
Some of these have included the ‘Shamrock Chocolate Shake in 2017, as well as the Twisted straw.
“McDonald’s changed the world [of shake-drinking] with a limited-edition straw designed by a team of aerospace and robotic engineers,” according to McDonald’s corporate site. “The straw offered the most-ideal way to enjoy the shake, with 50% chocolate and 50% mint in each sip that was taken in.”
One of the latest versions of the classic shamrock shake was developed in 2020.
After COVID-19 struck, and businesses had been shut down, McDonald’s brought back its creation of the OREO Shamrock McFlurry. The shake had experienced some competition that most do not know about.
“I would have to say I prefer McDonald’s Shamrock Shake because I have not tried the Arby’s shake,” Reichman said.
The latest addition to the competition is Dunkin Donuts.
They had something to say by introducing the Shamrock Macchiato on February 24.