St. Patrick's Day celebrations wouldn't feel complete without our favorite holiday foods––corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, and the quintessential seasonal drink, the Shamrock Shake, served at McDonald's during February and March. Now you skip the drive-thru and make your own with our copycat McDonald's Shamrock Shake recipe.

With every sip, a little luck of the Irish is present in the popular green minty flavored milkshake. The festive Shamrock Shake first debuted in 1970, created by Rogers Merchandising in Chicago.

Originally, the Shamrock Shake featured a lemon and lime sherbet flavored with vanilla syrup. By 1973, McDonald's eliminated the lemon and lime sherbet from the Shamrock Shake, leaving it as a green-colored vanilla milkshake, which would eventually be flavored mint.

In 2020, McDonald's has announced the Shamrock Shake will make its return on February 19th. McDonald's has also announced that it will be rolling out the brand new Oreo Shamrock McFlurry drink, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the festively delicious Shamrock Shake.



  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon mint extract
  • 4 drops leaf green AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste
  • heavy whipped cream, for serving
  • maraschino cherries, dried, for serving


  1. In a high-speed blender, combine the vanilla ice cream, milk, and mint extract. Blend until all is completely smooth.

  2. Add 4 drops of leaf green AmeriColor soft gel paste to the mixture. Blend until the mixture becomes a light shade of green. Add more or fewer drops of green, depending on your preference.

  3. Homemade shamrock shakes will be sensitive to heat and will melt quickly. Serve immediately in a frosted milkshake glass. Top with whipped cream and cherry. Enjoy!


  • high-speed blender
  • milkshake glasses (optional)
  • straws

Recipe Notes

Why Mint And Not Peppermint Extract?

You could use peppermint extract if you were in a pinch. However, your Shamrock Shake may end up tasting more like crushed canes than the real deal.

What is the difference between heavy whipping cream and regular whipping cream?

Heavy whipped cream and regular whipped cream are mostly the same, aside from heavy whipped cream containing more milk fat. Due to heavy whipped cream's higher fat content, heavy whipped cream will be able to hold its shape longer than whipping cream.

Skip the pre-made heavy whipped cream and learn how making whipped cream from scratch!

Why do I need to dry the maraschino cherries?

You don't have to dry the maraschino cherries. However, if you'd like your Shamrock Shake to be Instagram ready, drying your maraschino cherries is a good idea. Drying the cherries will prevent the heavy red syrup from seeping into the whipped cream.

Where Do I Purchase Milkshake Glasses?

Our Shamrock Shake recipe will fill three 12 ounce milkshake glasses. You can purchase classic milkshake glasses online.

What's In A McDonald's Shamrock Shake?

shamrock shake

There's no denying that McDonald's Shamrock Shakes are delicious. But, they're not exactly healthy food. One glimpse at the ingredients list may have you re-thinking your order and sticking to our healthier homemade version of this minty green treat.

McDonald's Shamrock Shake Ingredients

  • Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream: Milk, Sugar, Cream, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate.
  • Shamrock Shake Syrup: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Sugar, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Yellow 5, Blue 1.
  • Whipped Light Cream: Cream, Nonfat Milk, Liquid Sugar. Contains 2% or Less: Mono and Diglycerides, Natural Flavors, Carrageenan, Whipping Propellant (Nitrous Oxide).
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