The Elusive Shamrock Shake

Ah, ’tis the Shamrock season again, laddies. Here’s another popular post from last year that beckons for revival. Now enhanced with Youtube!

— Jason

(Originally published March 15, 2006.)

I can’t explain it, but every March for the last 10 years or so I find myself in search of that cold, green, minty, pseudo-ice-cream confection that is the Shamrock Shake. Yes, that ultra-rare McDonald’s product that they keep trying to kill off, but somehow manages to pop up randomly during the week of St. Patrick’s Day in select regions of the country and only in specific franchises. There are some that believe this artificial scarcity is the result of a conspiracy.


Clearly, I am not the only person that is obsessed with the Shamrock and its giant green fuzzy pear-shaped patron, Uncle O’Grimacey. It’s also clear that its availability or lack thereof can seriously impact international diplomacy and world peace. Even still, despite worldwide demand for the ‘Sham, it seems that Mcdonald’s official policy on the matter is that they can only be found in Ireland, and to add a further qualifier, only on St. Pattie’s Day.

So if you can find the elusive Shamrock, more power to you. Let me know how you do this year.


Erin Go Bragh! Happy St. Patties day, everyone!


20 Responses to The Elusive Shamrock Shake

  1. PETER PLA says:

    Know what I like? McDonald’s hot apple pie. My guilty pleasure! I like to suck out all the gooey appley filling and leave it on my tongue until it, like, totally burns my mouth. Then I suck the oil out of the crust. And then – and only then! – do I ravage the crust.

    Sometimes I have two or three at a time!

    And don’t even get me started on KFC’s chicken soup (I buy it by the quart and use it as stock in my everyday cooking. I won’t tell if you don’t!

  2. Stash says:

    Jason, you’re killing me, lol.

    I haven’t been to a McDonald’s in over a year…

  3. Our McDonalds don’t usually carry it, but I have a recipe for it, if you want it…

  4. paul says:

    The management company of my office building was giving out Shamrock Shakes in the lobby yesterday.

    They ordered several cases of them from the huge McDonald’s in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.

  5. Suzette says:

    I had a Shamrock Shake last week at the Matawan NJ McD’s. It was an extremely pale green and not at all minty. I suspect that rather than waiting for corporate direction, they took matters into their own hands and added a few drops of food coloring to the vanilla mix.

  6. Tongo Rad says:

    Heads up if you’re still looking for a shamrock shake. I was at the Northvale McD’s for a birthday party on Saturday and I saw a sign indicating that they would have them through the end of March (I opted for a coffee, myself).

  7. John K says:

    Yeats,Collins,Wellesley will be spinning in their graves,GREEN shake?

    And anyway St.pat was either Welsh or Lancastrian so surely roast lamb or Hotpot would be a more fitting dish.

    Must go,the nice lady is here with me pills.

  8. chris says:

    You can get them in the Chicagoland area immediately after Valentine’s Day and usually through end of March. It’s a crying shame you can’t get them in NYC.

  9. Jen says:

    Shamrock shake siting in Philadelphia!

  10. […] Anybody seen one of these things in a McDonalds in Midtown?  If you have, help Esther out by posting the location as a comment below.  If you are like me, and didn’t even know this Shamrock Shake existed, there’s a great piece about them here. […]

  11. Megan says:

    Thanks for posting my video!! Yaaay ShamShakes!

  12. alotofgoodways says:

    Just so you know, you should never say “Happy St. Patties”, as Patty is a woman’s name ;)! You must mean “Paddy”, the standard abbreviation for ‘Patrick’ :)

  13. E.Nassar says:

    A shake only a Leprechaun…or Jason could love.

  14. amyp says:

    The Shamrock shakes aren’t the same as the ones we remember as kids. I bought one to share w/ my husband and I’m not sure if it’s even totally made of food product. What’s with the shaving-cream consistency foam 3 or 4 hours after it should have melted? I guess they figure that I wouldn’t open the lid to look inside. I was seriously creeped out.

  15. Rebecca263 says:

    It would be cool if they added some tiny choclate chips, maybe in a gold candy coating, you know,for the treasure at the end of the rainbow!

  16. Rita says:

    The McDonalds in Pickerington Ohio has Shamrock Shakes every year! W00t.

  17. Julio says:

    I just finished one!
    Move to the Chicago area they are here every year.

  18. […] There's no better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with a smooth, thick, green Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. Sadly, few have actually been able to find the rare minty shake on the menu since the mid-1980s (unless you go to Ireland). Occasionally a rumor will circulate that an obscure McDonald's in the heartland has the shake in stock. Diehard fans rush out with coolers in hand to stock up until the next release. But they arrive only to find the report to be a vicious rumor. There is no shake and there hasn't been for a very long time. We just wish we could play the game where we confound the McDonald's cashiers by ordering one of our all time favorite desserts: Chocolate Shake swirled with Shamrock Shake. Special permission needs to be granted by the supervisors and there is usually a lot of confusion. But when that shake arrives, it tastes so good. If you would like to make your own green shake, has the recipe. [via Off the Broiler] […]

  19. […] The next post that caught my eye is about the Shamrock Shake. If you have kept Kosher your entire life this might not be of any interest to you whatsoever, but for me it is something that brings back warm memories. My grandfather ZL used to take me to get one of these fabled shakes. Here is the link: […]

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