McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

Indulging in a delightfully sweet and refreshing Shamrock Shake doesn’t require a trip through the drive-thru. Those who want to enjoy this treat year-round only need a handful of common ingredients and a blender

homemade McDonald's shamrock shake with whipped cream.

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Shamrock Shake

There are a lot of things you may think of when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, from Irish food and drink to leprechauns and plenty of green. But for some, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without a delicious and refreshing Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s.

It’s usually available from mid-February through late March, a reliable sign of the season on the Golden Arches’ menu for nearly as long as iconic items like the Big Mac.

But what do you do if it’s not the right time of year or you don’t want to spend the time or money making it to McDonald’s? The answer is to try this copycat version that’s simple, affordable, and tastes just like the real thing. 

Why St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the same without the classic McDonald’s Shamrock Stake

To be sure, many look at St. Patrick’s Day as a day not just to celebrate Irish heritage but also to indulge. For those who’d prefer an alcohol-free way to do so (or need a sweet treat after a few pints), the Shamrock Shake is an ideal option.

The green hue evokes one of the most famous parts of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, while the subtle mint flavor provides a freshness that reminds many that warmer weather is just around the corner. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

It’s hard to get much easier than this copycat Shamrock Shake recipe, which involves nothing more than piling the ingredients together and blending. It also takes just over 10 minutes to make from start to finish, with almost all the time spent hands-off, letting the ice cream gently soften.

Plus, with affordable and everyday ingredients, it’s an easy way to save money on your favorite treats.  

Ingredients you’ll need

Just a short list of five items is needed to make a delicious homemade Shamrock Shake.

  • Vanilla ice cream: This is the heart of your shake, so don’t skimp and buy cheap brands with too much air, which can leave your milkshake thin and runny. Go for a high-quality brand that’s smooth and thick, like Ben & Jerry’s or Graeter’s.
  • Half & half: Skip the milk and use its even thicker, creamier cousin that results in an ultra-creamy shake.
  • Mint extract: Spearmint extract is your best choice; peppermint extract can be too “minty,” overpowering the more delicate vanilla flavor.  
  • Green food coloring: This is optional but an excellent addition for those who want a shake that not only tastes but looks like the real thing from Mickey D’s. If possible, use all-natural gel food coloring instead of liquid food coloring.
  • Whipped Cream: You can skip the time and effort required to make homemade whipped cream and use your favorite canned version or tub of whipped topping. 
McDonald's shamrock shake ingredients.

Possible substitutions

Fortunately, it’s easy to tweak this tasty shake for a variety of flavor or dietary reasons – along with the potential to add a bit of a kick.

  • Skinny Shamrock Shake Recipe: In a blender, combine two cups of vanilla Greek-style yogurt, a quarter of a cup of whole milk, four drops of mint extract, two drops of green food coloring, and three ice cubes. Blend until smooth.
  • Chocolate Shamrock Shake: Are you a chocoholic? Use chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla or drizzle some chocolate syrup in the blender. Skip the green food color for a milkshake that will remind you of After Eight Thin Mints.
  • Boozy Shamrock Shake: In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, adding a bit of booze to the blender might be in order. Use your favorite liquor such as vanilla vodka or Baileys Irish Cream. Bourbon pairs particularly well. Meanwhile, crème de menthe creates an extra minty drink like a giant Grasshopper. Just don’t go crazy – limit any alcohol to 1.5 ounces if you don’t want to wind up with a thin shake.

How to make a Shamrock Shake

Making a homemade Shamrock Shake is incredibly easy and can be prepared in batches for groups.

  1. Soften the ice cream at room temperature for about 10 minutes for easier blending. 
  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender. 
shamrock shake ingredients in a blender.
  1. Blend until well combined, about 30 seconds.
blended shamrock shake in a blender.
  1. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream. If desired, garnish with a maraschino cherry.

In just minutes, you’ll be enjoying this refreshing dessert without the hassle and cost of a McDonald’s trip. Don’t forget a straw or long-handled spoon for easy enjoyment!

homemade McDonald's shamrock shake topped with whipped cream.

What to serve Shamrock Shakes with

Though the Shamrock Shake is delightful on its own, it also pairs well with other popular fast-food items like hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries.

Those looking to customize their Shamrock Shake even further can add toppings like cookie crumbs (like Girl Scouts Thin Mints or Oreo cookies), green sprinkles, or even a sprig of fresh mint.

How to store leftovers for later

Shamrock shakes are at their best when freshly made. Combined with the incredibly simple process of whipping them up, we don’t recommend trying to save leftover milkshakes in the fridge or freezer, both of which will quickly ruin the texture.

homemade shamrock shake topped with whipped cream.

Best McDonald’s copycat recipes

More delicious milkshakes to make

Favorite mint recipes

Check out more of my easy drink recipes and the best McDonald’s recipes here on CopyKat!

how to make a shamrock shake illustration.
homemade McDonald's shamrock shake with whipped cream.

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

Make your own McDonald's Shamrock Shake at home with this easy copycat recipe. Enjoy a delicious mint milkshake any time of the year.
5 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: McDonald’s Recipes, Mint, Mint Milkshake, Shake, Shamrock Shake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 649kcal


  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 4 drops mint extract
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream


  • Allow ice cream to soften for about 10 minutes so it will be easy to blend.
  • Combine the ice cream, half-and-half, mint extract, and food coloring in a blender.
  • Blend for about 30 seconds or until well combined.
  • Pour the milkshake into a glass and top with whipped cream. Serve immediately.



If you want to go dye free, just omit the green food coloring. It tastes the same, it just won’t be green.


Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 604mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 1385IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 401mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Whis the shamrock shake offered at McDonald’s?

The window to order a Shamrock Shake isn’t the same each year or in every restaurant. You can find the shake at most locations from the middle of February to late March.

It may be worth calling your local McDonald’s if you plan on making a special trip just for the shake. Armed with this copycat recipe you don’t have to wait for the annual return of the Shamrock Shake.

What flavor is the shamrock shake?

A Shamrock Shake is essentially a mint milkshake. These days, you can find the original minty Shamrock Shake on the menu at McDonald’s along with an Oreo Shamrock McFlurry.

Over the years, other Shamrock drinks have included Chocolate Shamrock Shake, Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappé, Shamrock Mocha, and even Shamrock Hot Chocolate!

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Mary R

    5 stars
    I like to add a little bit of Triple Sec to the Grasshopper. It just gives it a little more richness in flavor. I have also used Creme de Cocao instead of Baileys although you don’t use quite as much as you do with the Baileys

    • stephaniemanley

      Thanks for your skilled suggestions at drink making. I am definitely going to try some of your suggestions. These sound simply amazing.

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