Because of its limited release and its incredible flavor, Shamrock Shake has some very devoted fans! A Shamrock Shake is the most delicious sweet, creamy, and minty milkshake around. This McDonald’s drive-thru classic is typically only available for a limited time leading up to St. Patrick’s Day in select locations in the United States, Ireland, and Canada.
But you don’t have to wait for the annual return of the shamrock shake each February to enjoy this cool and creamy treat! We have a top-notch copycat recipe ready for you.
What does a shamrock shake taste like?
A shamrock shake has a base of vanilla ice cream and it’s flavored with the minty deliciousness of peppermint extract.
What do I need for this shamrock shake recipe?
First, you’ll need what every respectable milkshake recipe needs: vanilla ice cream and whole milk. We recommend you splurge on some high-quality vanilla ice cream—the kind that has the little specks of actual vanilla beans—for the biggest flavor payout.
For the shamrock element, McDonald’s uses their own Shamrock Shake Syrup, which is mostly just corn syrup flavored with mint and colored with green food coloring. In this copycat recipe, we skip the syrup step and just flavor our milkshake using mint extract and color it using green food coloring.
You can definitely skip the food coloring if you are sensitive to it. The milkshake will still taste the same!
For finishing touches, we like to garnish our shamrock shakes with whipped cream, maraschino cherries, sprinkles, and a little sprig of mint.
Do shamrock shakes have chocolate in them?
Traditional shamrock shakes do not have chocolate in them—they are a vanilla-mint milkshake—but McDonald’s did recently come out with the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, which contains Oreo cookie pieces (which are chocolate).
To make your own Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, drop a few Oreo cookies into the blender at the end of your milkshake blending time.
How do you make a shamrock shake?
Making your own shamrock shake couldn’t be easier!
- Combine ice cream, milk, extract, and food coloring in the basin of a blender.
- Blend on low until smooth (using too high of a setting can heat the milkshake and melt it).
- Pour into a tall glass.
- Garnish with whipped cream, a maraschino cherry, sprinkles, and mint leaves.
You can also make your shamrock shake using an immersion blender. Just combine all the ingredients into a large jar, and then use your immersion blender on low to blend until smooth.
Shamrock Shake adjustments and substitutions
- Leave out the green food coloring or use natural food colors if you want to avoid artificial colors.
- Drop in a few Oreo cookies to turn your milkshake into an Oreo Shamrock McFlurry.
- Use non-dairy vanilla ice cream, non-dairy milk (we like coconut milk), and non-dairy whipped topping to make a vegan Shamrock Shake.
- Add more ice cream or more milk to adjust the consistency to your desired thickness.
- We call for 1/4 teaspoon mint extract, but feel free to adjust up or down depending on your personal preferences.