- Shamrock Shakes Are Officially Back at McDonald’s. Here’s What You Need to Know.
- What does a Shamrock Shake taste like?
- Is there a vegan Shamrock Shake?
- How many calories are in a small Shamrock Shake?
- Where can I get a Shamrock Shake?
- The Shamrock Shake: What You Should Know Before You Sip and How to Make a Healthier Version
- Here’s What’s Really Inside the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake
- We Made the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake Way Healthier
- How to Make a Healthier Shamrock Shake
- How many calories are in a Shamrock Shake? Let’s compare it to a Big Mac
- A medium Shamrock Shake has 560 calories, 140 of which are calories from fat. There’s 16g of total fat (25% DV), 10g of which is saturated (51% DV). A medium serving has 12g of protein.
- When is the Shamrock Shake coming back in 2019?
- Talk to me about calories and fat and all that health stuff.
- What are the ingredients?
- Where can I get one?
- How much does a Shamrock Shake cost?
- Does it come in any other flavors besides the original?
- Can the Shamrock Shake be vegan? Or healthy? Or Keto?
- Wait, seriously—can they?
- Ok, fine. But can I make it boozy?
- Can I make the entire thing from scratch at home?
- Shamrock Shakes, and their cult following, explained
- A green-tinted tradition born in the ’70s
- What flavor is the Shamrock Shake?
- The history of the Shamrock Shake is more detailed than you’d expect for a fast-food novelty beverage
- The secret to the shake’s popularity: artificial scarcity
- Don’t I remember a weird green mascot of some kind?
- I’m only reading this to find out where to get a Shamrock Shake
- 1.5 Big Macs
- 16 Oreos
- 1 and 1/3 boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese
- 4.5 Krispy Kreme Donuts
- 4 McDonald’s Soft Serve Cones
- 3 Slices of Domino’s Pizza
- 10 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- 2 Orders of Shake Shack Fries
- 7.5 Spiked Seltzers
- An Entire Box of Froot Loops
- 3.5 PINTS of Mint Chip Halo Top
- 275 Goldfish Crackers
- 5 and 1/3 bun-less hot dogs
Shamrock Shakes Are Officially Back at McDonald’s. Here’s What You Need to Know.
What does a Shamrock Shake taste like?
Despite the Shamrock Shake’s popularity, there are a number of people out there who haven’t tried it. Shocking, we know. According to one member of the drink’s cult following, a Shamrock Shake tastes like, “rolling hills, the spring breeze.” Another says it tastes like, “HEAVEN.” A third, clearly less of a fan, claims it tastes “minty, thick and chalky, much like Kaopectate.” To each their own.
The Shamrock Shake is made by combining McDonald’s vanilla soft serve with Shamrock Shake syrup, which is minty. So, while we can neither confirm nor deny any of the above descriptions, we can tell you that it probably tastes a bit like mint ice cream.
Is there a vegan Shamrock Shake?
McDonald’s doesn’t currently cater to vegan eaters, unless you count the apple slices they toss in Happy Meals. The Shamrock Shake is not vegan, as it’s made with soft serve ice cream. There are, however, vegan Shamrock Shake recipes floating around online that you can try.
How many calories are in a small Shamrock Shake?
Shamrock Shakes, like most milkshakes, are not for the calorie conscious. A small Shamrock Shake has 460 calories, according to McDonald’s. It also has 13 grams of fat, 74 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein. About 120 of the shake’s over 400 calories are calories from fat. The Shamrock Shake has 150 milligrams of sodium and 55 milligrams of cholesterol.
Like much of what McDonald’s serves up each day, the Shamrock Shake isn’t what you’d call health food. Regardless, it’s an ever-popular seasonal staple.
Where can I get a Shamrock Shake?
You can get a Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s, provided the soft serve machine is up and running, of course. McDonald’s has added a feature to their app that will help you track down the dessert drink at a restaurant near you. Treating yourself has never been simpler.
The Shamrock Shake: What You Should Know Before You Sip and How to Make a Healthier Version
Now that it’s March, it’s time to break out the green stuff for St. Patrick’s Day! But if you’re planning to do so by indulging in a cool, minty McDonald’s McCafé Shamrock Shake to celebrate the Irish holiday, there’s a few things you should know before hitting the drive-thru. Available for just a limited time, you probably already know that the Shamrock Shake isn’t exactly healthy for you. But, let’s go over the nutrition facts. A 16-ounce serving of the Shamrock Shake has 550 calories, 13 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, no fiber, 82 grams of sugar and 13 grams of protein. The Shamrock Shake is made with McDonald’s low-fat vanilla soft-serve ice cream and Shamrock Shake syrup, and then topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Compared to other fast-food calorie-bombs, the Shamrock Shake isn’t the worst thing out there, says Mary Hartley, registered dietitian and online nutritionist at AskMaryRD.com. For example, a 16-ounce Dairy Queen Blizzard has 1170 calories and 152 grams of sugar! But that doesn’t mean the Shamrock Shake is a healthy choice. “The 82 grams of sugar is the worst,” Hartley says. “It’s like eating around six slices of bread all at once. The saturated fat is also high, at 40 percent of the daily limit (the goal is 10 percent). On the other hand, it is loaded with calcium (460 milligrams percent).” In fact, the 550 calories in a two-cup serving are about 28 percent of the average woman’s daily caloric requirement, so drinking this shake is more like eating lunch than having a treat, she says. A healthier option at the McDonald’s drive-thru would be a McCafé large coffee, which has zero calories, fat and sugar. But, Hartley admits, if you’re a true Shamrock Shake fan, you shouldn’t be afraid to indulge a little. After all, you drink a Shamrock Shake for fun and camaraderie – not for health, she says. Making your own healthier version at home might be the perfect Shamrock Shake compromise. “If I wanted to blend a sweet and creamy green drink at home, I might try the Citrus Avocado Smoothie recipe. That looks good to me,” she says. “I might add a drop or two of green food coloring to make it even greener for the kids. Also, here’s a Copycat McDonald’s Shamrock Shake recipe from Food.com. I would change the ice cream to frozen yogurt and the 2-percent milk to skim, and call it my own!” Are you a fan of the Shamrock Shake? Can’t imagine a St. Patrick’s Day without it? Wouldn’t touch it? Tell us about it!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.
- By Jennipher Walters
Here’s What’s Really Inside the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake
It’s a sweetly known fact that every year McDonald’s rolls out its cult classic mint green Shamrock Shake just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Plenty of devoted McDonald’s loyal customers anticipate the minty shake’s arrival, which hits menus nationwide in mid-February and only sticks around for a limited time. This year, the festive drink will be sold all the way up until Sunday, March 24, but how much do you really know about the shake—and what exactly is in it?
The timeless frozen treat has actually been around for a few decades; it was originally called the St. Patrick’s Day Shake back when it debuted in 1970, and in 2014, more than 60 million Shamrock Shakes were estimated to have been sold since its inception. You can only imagine what that number has climbed to now. People clearly love the drink and earnestly look forward to it. Take this tweet as evidence:
Shamrock Shakes are back and I have a will to live again🍀🍦
— Kiara (@kiaraa23a) February 13, 2019
As a food and nutrition site, we felt like it was our duty though to break down exactly what a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is made of and let you in on what’s in it. To do this properly, we consulted Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, for more insight.
What exactly is in a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake?
“The Shamrock Shake is a sugar bomb at 63 grams of sugar and 74 grams of carbs for a small,” says Walsh. That’s as much sugar as 16 sugar packets, she says. “While a majority of its 460 calories come from the carbs and sugar, it also has 13 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat.”
You’re also probably wondering what makes the drink green, right? It’s a combination of artificial colors, specifically Yellow 5 and Blue 1. That green hue doesn’t happen with natural mint—it comes from something simply called Shamrock Shake syrup! The other two ingredients: vanilla reduced fat ice cream and whipped light cream.
“One of these as a super indulgent treat shouldn’t do much harm, but regular consumption could surely start to pack on the pounds,” says Walsh. It’s best to enjoy the festive drink in moderation, folks.
RELATED: The science-backed way to curb your sweet tooth in 14 days.
What would be a healthier dessert option to get at McDonald’s and why?
“As a dietitian that is not anti-Mickey D’s, I am a big fan of their vanilla soft serve cone. While it’s not particularly low in sugar or carbs 24 grams of sugar and 32 grams of total carbs, it has 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein, and comes in at 200 calories,” says Walsh. “It’s not a horrible option when you are craving a sweet frozen treat.”
Walsh says an even better way to satisfy your cold, creamy craving would be to order the ice cream in a cup, or, if the McDonald’s near you allows this, get the kiddie size. “The kiddie cone comes in at 45 calories, 6 grams of sugar, 8 grams carbs and 1 gram of fat.” That’s about a quarter of the calories, and notably less sugar, carbs, and fat!
How can you make a healthier Shamrock Shake at home?
“You can make your own lighter Shamrock Shake at home! You can use light ice cream or your favorite vanilla protein powder with mint extract—extracts add zero calories and sugar,” says Walsh. There you have it—the nutritional breakdown of the festive drink, as well as a recipe for a DIY Shamrock Shake so you can get festive this year without doing any damage to your waistline.
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We Made the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake Way Healthier
McDonald’s just brought back its seasonal Shamrock Shake—a mint-green milkshake made with soft serve ice cream, “Shamrock Shake syrup” (how mysterious), green dye, and topped with a large dollop of whipped cream.
Though the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake sounds (okay, is) delicious, the nutrition info on it is downright scary. A large, 22-ounce Shamrock Shake has 800 calories (200 of which are from fat), 14g of saturated fat, and 113g of sugar.
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The minty moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here: the Shamrock Shake is back! Find one near you on our App. #ShamrockShakeSZN 🙌☘ Only at part. McDonald’s for a limited time.
Even though it’s meant to be an occasional treat, we wanted to create a Shamrock Shake recipe you can feel good about drinking—but without making it so healthy that it stops being tasty (read: No spinach). Best part? No more waiting until late February to hit the drive-through for this treat—once you know how to make it, you can enjoy our version year-round.
We kept the luxe creamy mint Shamrock Shake flavor you love—but our version has just 248 calories and slashes 76g of sugar from the fast food version. The best part? You still get a satisfying 22-ounce serving. Here’s how we did it.
How to Make a Healthier Shamrock Shake
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 avocado
- 4 tbsp. agave nectar
- 1 tsp. matcha powder
- 1/2 tsp. pure peppermint extract
- 6 oz. vanilla Siggis 4% yogurt
- 1 cup ice
Editor’s Note: This shake is super minty, so if you’re not sure how strong you want it, start with 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, and give it a taste.
- Scoop yogurt into a mini muffin tray and freeze for 1-2 hours.
- Combine frozen yogurt with remaining ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree until mixture is smooth and completely blended.
- Pour into two milkshake glasses and enjoy.
- Optional: Garnish with your favorite whipped cream, fresh mint, and cacao nibs.
Shamrock Shake Nutrition Facts
(For the entire recipe)
- Calories 130
- Total Fat 2.2g
- Saturated Fat 0.1g
- Cholesterol 0mg
- Sodium 161mg
- Total Carbohydrate 28g
- Dietary Fiber 3.5g
- Sugars 12g (zero grams added sugar)
- Protein 2.6g
Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 1 point for the entire recipe! To compare, a McDonalds Shamrock Shake has 27 times that (27 points for one shake).
Nutrition information is based on the entire recipe, made with cashew or almond milk. Numbers may vary slightly depending on the type of milk you use. If you want a shake that’s higher in protein, feel free to add a scoop of your favorite protein powder or use a higher-protein milk.
Banana-Fee Shamrock Shakes
(Alternatively, you could just blend milk of choice with my Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream)
- 1/2 a large avocado, OR 1/3 cup Thai coconut
- 1 1/2 cups cold milk of choice
- 1/8 tsp pure peppermint extract, or more for a stronger flavor
- scant 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or sugar of choice, OR pinch uncut stevia
- optional natural food coloring or pinch spirulina for color if using coconut
- 1/8 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth, then serve. Makes 1-2 servings.
How many calories are in a Shamrock Shake? Let’s compare it to a Big Mac
We certainly don’t want to scare you away from enjoying a Shamrock Shake this season. But for those of you who are at least semi-health conscious, knowing the Shamrock Shake calorie count might interest you. And yeah, as you’d probably expect, the numbers aren’t great. But it’s not like we’re going to be drinking several of these a day, right? Right…?
The drink is made with vanilla soft serve ice cream, so that alone might give you a good idea of the Shamrock Shake’s “nutritional” value. No hate, Shammy. We’re just here to report the facts.
McDonald’s has actually done customers a solid by listing the calorie count alongside other nutrition facts on their Shamrock Shake webpage. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and start small. A small-sized Shamrock Shake will set you back 460 calories. 120 of those calories are calories from fat.
The small serving also has 13g of total fat (21% of your Daily Value), 8g of which is saturated fats (42% DV). But there’s also 10g of protein, which is nothing to be mad at. (Insert *muscle flex* emoji here.)
A medium Shamrock Shake has 560 calories, 140 of which are calories from fat. There’s 16g of total fat (25% DV), 10g of which is saturated (51% DV). A medium serving has 12g of protein.
Finally, a large Shamrock Shake weighs in at a whopping 800 calories, 200 of which are calories from fat. It has 22g of total fat (34% DV) and almost a day’s worth of saturated fat (70% DV).
For comparison, a McDonald’s Big Mac has 560 calories and 49% DV of saturated fat. And a large order of McDonald’s World Famous Fries packs 510 calories. The fries only have 17% DV of saturated fat though, so we’re okay with gorging on them.
We say treat yourself to a Shamrock Shake no matter the calorie count. It’s arrival is pretty much a holiday, so you might as well celebrate and pick up some luck with each sip.
- By Olivia Harvey
It was nearly 50 years ago that McDonald’s rocked worlds and tastebud alike by introducing the now-infamous Shamrock Shake. Like with other seasonal drinks (most notably, Starbucks’ PSL) this one’s got people curious—really curious. So, armed with info, we sat down to tackle your most pressing questions. First up: When the h-e-double hockey sticks can I get my hands on this sucker?
When is the Shamrock Shake coming back in 2019?
Friend, if you’re asking this now, you’re late to the party. The Shamrock Shake returned to menus on February 13. You have until March 24 to get your fill, at which point they’ll disappear until next year.
Talk to me about calories and fat and all that health stuff.
Ordering a small will set you back 460 calories, 13 grams of fat, 74 grams of carbs, and 63 grams of sugar. Ready for the stats on a medium shake? 560 calories, 16 grams of fat, 91 grams of carbs, and 78 grams of sugar. If you’re brave enough to read ’em, here are the facts for a large shake: 800 calories, 22 grams of fat, 131 grams of carbs, and 113 grams of sugar.
What are the ingredients?
Mmm, so you’re a glutton for punishment and want to know why those nutrition facts are the way they are. We got u. The Shamrock Shake has three main components: the vanilla ice cream, the syrup, and the whipped cream on top. Let’s break down what’s in each of those, shall we?
In the vanilla ice cream we’ve got milk, sugar, cream, corn syrup, natural flavor, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, guar gym, carrageenan, and vitamin A palmitate.
In the Shamrock Shake syrup, you have high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, sugar, natural flavor, xantham gum, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), yellow 5, blue 1. McDonald’s notes on their site that the syrup may contain small amounts of other shake flavors served at the restaurant, including egg ingredients when Egg Nog Shakes are available.
In the whipped light cream, there’s cream, nonfat milk, liquid sugar, and 2% of less of mono and diglycerides, natural flavors, and carrageenan. Nitrous oxide is used as a “whipping propellant.”
Where can I get one?
At McDonald’s, ya silly goose! Most, but not all, locations offer Shamrock Shakes. McDonald’s added a feature to its app that lets you find one easily. You just enter your zip code and the app will curate a list of locations with shakes near you. If you don’t have the app, the function works online, too.
How much does a Shamrock Shake cost?
As of last year, a small was $2.29, a medium was $2.49, and a large was $2.99.
Does it come in any other flavors besides the original?
Not this year. In its early days, the Shamrock Shake also took form as a Shamrock Sundae. It was essentially the same thing, just not blended. And in recent years, it’s been reinvented, too. In 2017, the Shamrock menu included a Chocolate Shamrock Shake, a Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe, a Shamrock Mocha and a Shamrock Hot Chocolate.
Unfortunately, none were officially brought back for 2019. That said, online message boards are rife with secret menu hacks. For example, when you order, ask for a mix of half chocolate shake and half Shamrock Shake.
Can the Shamrock Shake be vegan? Or healthy? Or Keto?
Wait, seriously—can they?
Omg, sorry, I thought you were kidding. The answer is a swift and resounding “no way.” You saw the nutrition facts, right? There are all sorts of dairy in there. And those carbs would kick you right out of ketosis.
Ok, fine. But can I make it boozy?
McDonald’s won’t serve it to you that way, but by all means, feel free to spike it once you get home.
Can I make the entire thing from scratch at home?
You bet, and it’s super easy. All you need is six ingredients and a blender. Bada boom, bada bing.
Sarah Weinberg Deputy Editor Sarah Weinberg is the deputy editor at Delish and has covered food, travel, home, and lifestyle for a number of publications, including Food Network Magazine and Country Living.
Shamrock Shakes, and their cult following, explained
Every March, along with St. Patrick’s Day, possibly corrupt college basketball tournaments, and the opportunity to misquote Julius Caesar, another seasonal tradition returns: the Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s. Despite not being the fast-food chain’s best-known (or, arguably, best) limited-time product, the green beverage has garnered a cult following over the years — and has a surprisingly interesting backstory.
A green-tinted tradition born in the ’70s
1980 Shamrock Shake ad. Courtesy of McDonald’s
The Shamrock Shake, as manufactured by McDonald’s, is a pale neon green milkshake, served with whipped cream and a cherry on top (a relatively recent addition). It comes in three sizes ranging from small (530 calories and 15 grams of fat) to large (820 calories and 23 grams of fat).
(If you’re curious, it would take approximately a 5-mile run or a 90-minute bike ride to burn off the calories from a small shake, according to the Delaware News Journal.)
The Shamrock Shake is only available seasonally, typically arriving on the McDonald’s menu sometime in February and remaining there at least through St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), generally disappearing again in mid- to late March. After debuting in 1970 and returning annually for the next two decades, it was briefly discontinued in the 1990s but brought back in the 2000s due to customer demand. In 2012 it was made available at every McDonald’s nationwide, but it’s currently a regional offering in the US. It’s also available at some stores in Canada and Ireland.
In 1980, McDonald’s also introduced the Shamrock Sundae, a vanilla sundae drizzled with disconcertingly green syrup, but due to low sales it was discontinued after a year. Now it’s mostly relegated to awesomely ’80s commercials like this one:
What flavor is the Shamrock Shake?
This might seem obvious — it’s mint, right? — but Googling the query turns up quite a few debates on the matter. Some claim it has a hint of lime, others say it’s as minty as toothpaste, and still others think it’s just a vanilla shake dyed green. Turns out these have all been correct at various points in history: At least one account says the original recipe contained lemon-lime sherbet; the formula was changed in 1973 to be just vanilla with food coloring. Not until 1983 did the shake become the mildly minty confection we know today.
The nutritional information listed on the McDonald’s website reveals that it’s a vanilla shake flavored with “shamrock syrup,” which itself gets its signature taste from the somewhat ominous-sounding “Natural Flavor (Plant Source)”; one would assume said plant source is mint.
Last year, McDonald’s also introduced four varieties of chocolate Shamrock shake, including a Shamrock chocolate-chip frappe, a Shamrock hot chocolate, and a Shamrock mocha — plus a special straw specifically designed for the shakes. In terms of fast-food innovation, it’s not exactly “Bloomin’ Onion topped with cheese fries”–level stuff, but no doubt Shamrock aficionados appreciate no longer having to order their chocolate-mint fix off the “secret menu.”
The history of the Shamrock Shake is more detailed than you’d expect for a fast-food novelty beverage
Chris Pratt at the Ronald McDonald House in New York City, not drinking a Shamrock Shake. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
When McDonald’s introduced the shake in 1970, it was called the St. Patrick’s Day Shake; it got its new, catchier name a few years later. The Shamrock Shake is also partially responsible for creating the network of Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provide housing and other services to sick children and their families.
In early 1974, the daughter of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill was undergoing treatment for leukemia, and Hill and his wife, Fran, were spending most of their time in the hospital. They wanted to find a housing solution for other families like them, so Hill turned to his teammates to help fundraise for alternate accommodations.
Eagles general manager Jim Murray had the idea to harness the power of McDonald’s advertising; through a friend at the company’s ad agency, Don Tuckerman, he learned that the next McD’s promotion would be to add the Shamrock Shake to the menu for St. Patrick’s Day. Murray worked with McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc and regional manager Ed Rensi to organize a week-long promotion wherein all proceeds from Shamrock Shake sales would be donated to the Eagles’ fundraising efforts.
They raised enough money to buy a seven-bedroom house near the hospital, which in 1974 became the first Ronald McDonald House. The nonprofit network has since expanded to include 357 houses in multiple countries.
Though Shamrock Shake sales no longer benefit the nonprofit network, the two have been linked in recent publicity stunts — like this one from 2010, in which a 24-foot shake was dumped into the Chicago River in honor of a McDonald’s donation to build a new Ronald McDonald House in the city.
The secret to the shake’s popularity: artificial scarcity
More than 60 million Shamrock Shakes have been sold since 1970, according to Fox News. David Zlotnick, senior director of global public relations for McDonald’s, told Vox that it’s “one of McDonald’s most popular seasonal menu items and has gained a cult-like following over the years,” though he declined to provide any hard numbers. He also said the Shamrock Shake is most popular in Philadelphia, the birthplace of its “origin story,” so to speak.
The primary driver of the shake’s popularity is its “seasonality” — i.e., limited availability. Not only is the drink only available for a short time each year, it’s also not offered at every McDonald’s, which has led to more than one journalist chronicling an ill-fated search for the shake and an entire website dedicated to sightings of the white — er, green whale.
The shake has even been the subject of a scandal or two. In 2010, Jimmy Fallon caused a Shamrock Shortage at the McDonald’s in New York’s Union Square when he bought 100 of the shakes to hand out to members of his Late Night audience after taping that evening’s show. And last year, McDonald’s drew mockery and ire for a (since-deleted) Twitter video advertising its new chocolate Shamrock shake, featuring a man in a tartan hat with bagpipes sipping his beverage as Stonehenge appears in the background. That the Shamrock Shake is not exactly a symbol of authentic Irish culture doesn’t lessen the ridiculousness of a fast-food chain using Scottish cultural signifiers and one of England’s most famous landmarks to hawk its tangentially St. Patrick’s Day–related novelty drink.
Another product that benefits from “limited” availability.
David Paul Morris/Getty Images
Controversy aside, the shake’s cult fandom pales in comparison to that of the McRib, which is arguably the most well-known limited-time offering ever to grace a McDonald’s menu. Many news outlets (including Vox) have tried to explain its meaty mystery. But this fascinatingly in-depth piece from the Awl’s Willy Staley, though focused on determining whether the unpredictable emergence of the McRib is tied to the price of pork, sums up the psychology behind the sandwich as well as its fellow limited-time menu items, Shamrock Shakes included:
We’re marks, novelty-seeking marks, and McDonald’s knows it. Every conspiracy theorist only helps their bottom line. They know the sandwich’s elusiveness makes it interesting in a way that the rest of the fast food industry simply isn’t. It inspires brand engagement, even by those who do everything they can to not engage with the brand. I’m likely playing a part in a flowchart on a PowerPoint slide on McDonald’s Chief Digital Officer’s hard drive.
In other words, the Shamrock Shake is a classic example of the “art of artificial scarcity”: By limiting the Shamrock Shake and McRib to certain times of the year, McDonald’s ensures added interest and higher sales. (Plus, it gives us great Onion articles like this one.)
Don’t I remember a weird green mascot of some kind?
You’re thinking of Uncle O’Grimacey. Blobby and bright green with an Irish accent, O’Grimacey was the uncle of Grimace, the big purple … creature … that frequently appeared in the McDonaldland series of TV commercials that McDonald’s began airing in the early 1970s.
The web series Irate the 80’s explains how O’Grimacey was introduced in the ’70s and became the star of several McDonald’s TV commercials and merchandise items before being phased out in the ’80s. (If you fear clowns, beware: Ronald McDonald appears in this video.)
The actor who voiced Uncle O’Grimacey, Lennie Weinrib, also lent his voice to numerous cartoon characters including Scooby-Doo’s nephew Scrappy-Doo, Bigmouth from The Smurfs, and Gomez Addams from the animated Addams Family series.
I’m only reading this to find out where to get a Shamrock Shake
Well, hey, you made it almost all the way to the end! The McDonald’s website has a Shamrock Shake Finder where you can plug in a zip code; there’s also a separate finder app available on Google Play. Non-purists could hit Burger King for that chain’s Oreo Irish Mint Shake, which it debuted in 2016. Or you could just make your own — the internet is replete with recipes available in every variation you can think of.
Of course, the true advantage of blending up a homemade version is that it eliminates that pesky “artificial scarcity” situation l mentioned above (emphasis on “artificial”). Not only does that mean you have a Shamrock Shake any damn time of the year you please, but making it yourself essentially guarantees its minty taste will come from something less disconcerting than “Natural Flavor (Plant Source).”
It’s that time of the year again, and like most limited-time menu items, Americans tend to go crazy in order to get their hands on the seasonal Shamrock Shake every February and March. People either love ’em or hate ’em. Tragically for those of us who love these drinks, they’re really really bad for you. A large shamrock shake has 820 calories—nearly half of our allotted daily caloric intake. To put this into perspective, here is a list of the copious amounts of other junk foods that you could eat before getting to the level of the Shamrock Shake.
1.5 Big Macs
While the Big Mac seems to have a reputation for being pretty awful for you, it turns out you could down almost two of these and still take in less calories than the shake.
Next time you’re feeling guilty for going through an entire row of Oreos, find comfort in the fact that you’re still being healthier than if you got a shamrock shake.
1 and 1/3 boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese
If you don’t think that drinking a milkshake that has the equivalent amount of calories to a meal that could feed a family of four is concerning, then you probably won’t be too upset about this. To everyone else—brace yourselves.
4.5 Krispy Kreme Donuts
Krispy Kreme lovers rejoice—these glazed treats aren’t as bad for you as you’d expect. With 190 calories in each, it would take more than four of these to equal the amount of calories in a shamrock shake.
4 McDonald’s Soft Serve Cones
If you have a McDonald’s craving for something frozen and sweet, you might want to compromise with the classic vanilla cone. These have a quarter of the calories and are guaranteed to fix your craving.
3 Slices of Domino’s Pizza
You’d have to eat almost half of a large dominos cheese pizza to consume the amount of calories that are in this milkshake. This should make you feel better about last weekend’s drunchies.
10 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
At around 80 calories each, you’d have to eat 10 of these chocolates to get up to 820 calories. If you wouldn’t sit down and eat 5 packages of Reese’s straight, you might want to reconsider downing that shake.
2 Orders of Shake Shack Fries
If given the choice between this shake and Shake Shack fries, choose the fries always. 1. They’re out of this world, and 2. they’re half the calories of the shake.
7.5 Spiked Seltzers
At 110 calories each (for the White Claw ones), you can have 3/4 of a case of spiked seltzers. Unless you’re participating in a case race, most people wouldn’t readily drink this many seltzers back to back in one sitting. However, if you’re going to drink 800 calories worth of liquids—this may be a more fun route than just chugging a shamrock shake.
An Entire Box of Froot Loops
At 880 per box, a large shake can be equivalent to almost 8 servings of this sugar filled cereal.
3.5 PINTS of Mint Chip Halo Top
They even have a mint flavor similar to the shake! Plus you can have wayyy more of this than you’d get with the shake.
275 Goldfish Crackers
At 3 calories each, you can eat a whole bunch of these before you even come close to that of the Shamrock shake.
5 and 1/3 bun-less hot dogs
Kevin Del Orbe
Disclaimer—kinda psycho to eat these without the bun. If you’re into that, though, you can have more than five of these and still have eaten less calories than you would if you drank a large shake.
So yeah—these shakes are pretty bad for you. But if they’re you’re thing, then go for it! They only come by once a year and you should get your hands on them while they last.
So yeah- these shakes are pretty bad for you. But if they’re you’re thing, then go for it! They only come by once a year and you should get your hands on them while they last!
The Shamrock Shake is back at the Golden Arches one month before St Patrick’s Day and will be available until March 24th! It’s Shamrock Shake Season! McDonalds announced that the Shamrock Shake is back on their menus at participating locations for a limited time only. They posted via their social media pages “The minty moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here: the Shamrock Shake is back! Find one near you on our App. #ShamrockShakeSZN Only at part. McDonald’s for a limited time.” McDonald’s has introduced a feature on its app that tracks which locations are selling the beverage based on zip code/area codes. The Shamrock made it’s debut in 1970 and the popular minty green milkshake is made from McDonalds vanilla soft serve ice cream (when it’s working) blended with Shamrock Shake Minty Style Syrup and whipped topping. According to a McDonalds spokesperson via a report from MICNetwork the Shamrock Shake has 580 Calories, 80 grams of Sugar, 190mg Sodium, 65mg Cholesterol, 10g Total Fat and 12.6 Protein. The Thrillist says a small Shamrock Shake has 460 calories with 13 grams of fat, 74 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein. Are you a fan and looking forward to having one during the festive St Paddy’s season? Join the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Featured Image and Post from Twitter: @McDonalds
The minty moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here: the Shamrock Shake is back! Find one near you on our App. #ShamrockShakeSZN 🙌☘Only at part. McDonald’s for a limited time. pic.twitter.com/le6EeAKkuv
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) February 13, 2019