Shamrock shakes are just the thing to whip up when you want something cold, creamy and minty. Skip the fast food lane this spring and make it at home.
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Shamrock shakes started in 1970 with a lemon lime flavor due to the lemon lime sherbet used. In 1973 the sherbet was removed from the recipe leaving only the vanilla ice cream and green food dye was added. In 1983 a sweet mint syrup was added, and in 2018, they stopped adding the cherry since half the customers said they didn't want it.
The best thing about this shamrock shake recipe is you don't have to wait for McDonald's to put it on their seasonal menu. Since it's typically only available for 4 to 5 weeks in the spring, having this recipe can satisfy your shamrock shake cravings any day of the year.
Most of the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about the key ingredients.
- Ice Cream: Use a premium vanilla ice cream for the best flavor.
- Fresh Mint: For the best mint flavor use fresh mint instead of mint extract.
- Mint Oreo Cookies: We used only the mint green filling for the shake, not the cookie, because it turns the shake a muddy color.
Why This Recipe Works
I just love a thick, creamy shake! Don't you? And it's so easy to achieve.
- Use good-quality vanilla ice cream, plus whole milk or heavy cream, and you will have a winner every time.
- This shamrock shake recipe has double the mint, so that makes it twice as good. The first dose is from the mint Oreos, and the second is from fresh mint leaves, so there is no need for mint extract.
- You can customize the toppings: whipped cream, chocolate sauce, mini chocolate chips, crushed Oreos, green sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry.
How to Make
Prep everything before you start blending because you don't want the ice cream to melt. Chill two tall glasses in the freezer a couple of hours before.
- Put the ice cream in the blender. Place the mint Oreo cookie filling on top. Pour in ½ cup of whole milk. (If you want, add ½ of a banana. It makes the shake naturally sweeter. I left it out of the picture.)
2. Add the vanilla extract, a couple of drops of all natural green food coloring, and the chopped mint leaves. (If you are avoiding food dyes, leave it out.)
3. Put the lid on and blend until the desired thickness and color. Add the extra ¼ cup of whole milk if the shake is too thick.
4. Pour the shake into two tall milkshake glasses. Place the homemade whipped cream in a piping bag and pip a big swirl of whipped cream on top.
5. Drizzle on the chocolate sauce, and add a maraschino cherry with a stem. If desired, sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips or crushed Oreo bits.
6. Serve immediately or place in the freezer for up to 30 minutes.
This shake tastes cold, creamy, and minty. This recipe makes a thick shake, so if you like it thinner just add a bit more milk or cream, or wait for the shake to melt a bit.
For a limited time, at participating restaurants you can get a shake starting on Monday, February 21, 2022. They are typically on the menu in Canada, the U.S. and Ireland for 4 to 5 weeks to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Artificial colors (yellow 5 and blue 1) are added to the mint syrup. Their secret ingredient is the hex code for the iconic green shade of the drink. It's #cbf2ac.
This famous green shake from McDonald's is made in three parts: reduced fat vanilla ice cream, mint syrup, and topped off with a light whipped cream.
- Use high quality ice cream and whole milk or heavy cream for the richest tasting shakes.
- Chill the glasses ahead of time so the shakes stay thicker and colder longer.
- Want it thicker? Use a little less milk or heavy cream
- Entertaining? Make a milkshake bar and put out bowls with different toppings for the guests to use.
- Don't add the Oreo cookie to the milkshake, only the green filling, or it will look brownish and not green.
Other St. Patrick's Day Recipes
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Easy Shamrock Shake Recipe
For the Milkshake
For the Garnish
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 236 ml
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- drizzle of chocolate syrup
- sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, optional
- 2 maraschino cherries with a stem
- Wash and pat dry the fresh mint. Stack the leaves, roll them up, and slice into ribbons, then mince into smaller pieces.
- Remove the filling from 10 Oreo cookies, and break the filling into smaller pieces. (Keep the Oreo cookies for another use or break them up into small pieces to use as a topping.)
- Put 8 scoops of vanilla ice cream, the Oreo filling, and ½ cup whole milk or heavy cream in the blender. Slice up half a banana and put it on top of the Oreos. (This step is optional; it makes the shake naturally sweeter.) Add the vanilla extract, chopped mint leaves, and the green food coloring. Blend until the desired color and thickness. If needed, add the extra ¼ cup of whole milk or heavy cream.
- Pour the milkshake into two chilled tall glasses.
- Pipe the homemade whipped cream slowly in concentric circles on top of the shake.
- Top with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, mini chocolate chips, and a maraschino cherry. Serve immediately or put in the freezer for up to 30 minutes so it doesn't melt.
- Homemade whipped cream: whip the heavy cream with the sugar until soft peaks form.
- If you want the shakes stay thicker and colder longer, chill the glasses ahead of time in the freezer.
- Use a little less milk or cream for a thicker shake.
- The milkshakes can be placed in the freezer for up to 30 minutes if you want to make this ahead.
- Only add the green filling to the shake as the Oreo cookie will give the shake a brownish tint.
This post was originally published on March 1, 2018 and was republished on February 7, 2019 and on February 25, 2022 with refreshed photos and updated content.