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Everything You Wanted to Know about McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes!

A table having 6 Shamrock Shakes

Last Updated on October 16, 2022 by Jim Edwards


What Is a “Shamrock Shake”?

The Shamrock Shake is a luscious mint milkshake served with whipped cream.  It is made of vanilla reduced fat ice cream, whipped light cream, and the special Shamrock Shake syrup. It has a limited window of availability each year and it is available in three different sizes. The small version has 460 calories and 13 grams of fat, while the large version has 790 calories and 22 grams of fat.

Shamrock Shakes aren’t available all the time – it is a very limited time menu item. Each year,  McDonald’s brings them on their menu in February and keeps them till St. Patrick’s Day, which is March 17.

In the past, the Shamrock Shake was discontinued because it wasn’t generating enough sales. However, after three years of hiatus, the Shamrock Shake was back in 2020 to universal approval for the public. Since then, it has continued to grow in popularity.

History of the Shamrock Shake

The history of Shamrock Shake is as fascinating as it is detailed. McDonald first launched the Shamrock Shake in 1970, but it was originally named St. Patrick’s Day Shake. The name was changed to its current form after a few years because the original one was quite mouthful.

In 1974, Fred Hill of the Philadelphia Eagles was spending almost all of his time at the hospital with his wife because his daughter was being treated for leukemia. Fred and his wife Fran were eagerly looking for help in getting suitable accommodations and raising funds.

Seeing his condition, Jim Murray, Philadelphia Eagles’ General Manager, proposed the idea of running an advertising campaign through an ad agency. When Murray got to know that McDonald’s next ad campaign would promote the Shamrock Shake, he started working on a week-long promotion. All the proceeds from Shamrock Shake’s sales went to the fundraising.

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The results were far better than expected. The donations raised were enough to buy a seven-bedroom house near the hospital. This house, in 1974, was the first official Ronald McDonald House. Over the years, the non-profit network has gone to build 357 houses in several countries all over the world.

Green Shamrock Shake

Despite the fact that the sales of the Shamrock Shake are not going to the non-profit network anymore, the two have joined at the hip for various publicity stunts. In 2010, a 24-foot shake was poured in the Chicago River to celebrate the building of a Ronald McDonald House in Chicago.

In 2020, McDonald’s did a fundraiser to support another of its Ronald McDonald House. This time, they had an 18-karat gold, gem-studded Shamrock Shake cup on auction. Reports say that it was appraised at $90,000.

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Shamrock Shake Nutritional Information

Shamrock Shake

Depending on the size of the Shamrock Shake, the nutritional information will differ. Below is the information given for all three sizes of Shamrock Shake

Small Shamrock Shake Nutritional Information

Calories 460
Carbs 74
Fat 13 grams (8 grams saturated fat)
Protein 10 grams
Sugar 63 grams
Sodium 150 milligrams


Medium Shamrock Shake Nutritional Information

Calories 560
Carbs 91
Fat 16 grams (10 grams saturated fat)
Protein 12 grams
Sugar 78 grams
Sodium 190 milligrams

Large Shamrock Shake Nutritional Information

Calories 790
Carbs 130
Fat 22 grams (14 grams saturated fat)
Protein 18 grams
Sugar 112 grams
Sodium 280 milligrams


However, for those who do enjoy an occasional treat for themselves, the Shamrock Shake is perfect for them.

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Shamrock Shake Flavor and Taste

A Shamrock Shake drink

Previously, Shamrock Shake had a distinct lime-flavored taste. However, for eight years now, Shamrock Shake has gotten a vanilla-mint flavor. Back in the day when it was first introduced in 1970, it was a vanilla milkshake with lemon-lime sherbet added to it. In 1983, the Shamrock Shake was revamped to have the mint flavor.

How to Make a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake at Home | Get the Dish

Every year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, McDonald’s releases its beloved Shamrock Shake, a bright green vanilla-mint milkshake. Watch the video to see how easy it is to recreate the shake at home, and then print out the recipe for later.


The Shamrock Shake is hugely popular among the masses and deservedly so. It is one of those beverages that produce a significant impact on everyone’s taste throughout the globe. The Ronald McDonald Charities is a beneficial organization that has been collecting donations from a portion of each sale of Shamrock Shakes.

Shamrock Shake is purely a treat for your tastebuds and not the ideal choice for those who are health conscious. Hence, it is not wise to have it if you are looking to cut down on nutrients.

Shamrock Shakes – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Flavor of Shamrock Shake?

Shamrock Shake has a pleasant vanilla-mint flavor. At first, it had a blend of lemon-lime flavor and vanilla milkshake. The taste was developed to have a mint flavor in 1983. Currently, for eight years now, it has had the vanilla-mint taste.

Is a Shamrock Shake Just a Vanilla Shake?

The Shamrock Shake was introduced as a vanilla shake in 1970. However, it has undergone several transformations in its taste and components. It is now made with a reduced-fat vanilla soft serve, whipped light cream, and its characteristic “Shamrock Shake” syrup.

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What Makes Shamrock Shake Different?

Shamrock Shake is quite special because of its exclusivity for St. Patrick’s Day. It is a mint-flavored milkshake. One can even say it is somewhat melted mint ice cream.

When do Shamrock Shakes Come Out?

Shamrock Shakes were made available on McDonald’s menu on February 21, 2022. These shakes are available only for a limited time period. The end date for Shamrock Shakes is March 17, which is St. Patrick’s Day.

Does McDonald’s Still Have Shamrock Shakes?

Yes. In 2022, McDonald’s brought the ever-popular Shamrock Shake back into the US on February 21, 2022. It was in the market till March 17.

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Image Credit – “Shamrock Shakes” by Pictures by Ann is marked with CC BY 2.0.

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