Copycat Shamrock Shake
Copycat Shamrock Shake

This popular mint-flavored green shake is easy to make at home for one, two or more people. Keep it non-alcoholic or add vodka, whiskey or Irish cream to make this shamrock shake alcoholic!

With March and the lively celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day comes the rush of green food and drink.

However, there is one green drink that a devotee cult craves: the shamrock shake. Big, minty, frosty, creamy goodness and only available at McDonald’s for about a month.

What is a shamrock shake?

Since the 1970s, McDonald’s has offered this time-limited shake, with its distinctive green hue, as a special treat in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day from mid-February to mid-March. Its limited edition has elevated its status and many look forward to it all year long. In 2021 the Shamrock Shake celebrated its 50th (!!!) anniversary.

What’s in a Shamrock Shake?

At its core, the recipe consists of vanilla ice cream, a “shamrock syrup,” whipped cream, and a cherry (but maybe don’t look at the McDonald’s ingredient list, as it’s a little longer than three ingredients).

Here we’re simplifying the list down to just a handful of ingredients, but the end result is a creamy texture with balanced mint flavor and heaps of whipped cream.

Variations on the Shamrock Shake?

  • Chocolate! Chocolate and mint are an iconic duo! Add a squirt of chocolate syrup on top.
  • Make it wet! I like to add either vodka, whiskey or irish cream!
  • Two ounces of vanilla vodka per serving gives the shake an extra touch of vanilla without dramatically changing the flavor.
  • Two ounces of bourbon per serving give the shake a mint-julep direction and a bolder flavor profile.
  • Two ounces of Irish Cream per serving ups the rich and creamy factor of this ice cream treat.

Tips and tricks for making shamrock shakes at home

This recipe makes two 8-ounce shakes, but it’s easy to scale up or down. I love a small blender like a Bullet or even an immersion blender when making shake portions for two, but a large blender is best when making for a crowd.

My version of a shamrock shake is a smooth milkshake that’s easy to strain through a regular straw.

  • To make it thinner: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk
  • To make it thicker: Reduce the milk by 1 to 2 tablespoons.

Another aspect to consider is: how green do you want to go? You can use either gel or water-based food coloring.

  • Gel-based: A small drop of gel-based food coloring will add vibrant hues to your drink. I like to use LorAnn’s gel-based food coloring here (and in most of my other dessert and baking applications).
  • On a water basis: You must use at least 1 teaspoon of water-based food coloring to achieve a minty color. You may also want to reduce the amount of milk you add to the amount of liquid food coloring to maintain the consistency of the shake.

More great ice cream recipes

  • Mint chocolate chip
  • Mint Julep Ice Cream
  • Vegan mint chip ice cream
  • Root beer float
  • Strawberry ice cream

Copycat Shamrock Shake

preparation time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes

2 servings

If using gel-based food coloring, 1 lentil-sized drop will color both milkshakes adequately. Water-based food coloring isn’t as concentrated. If using water-based or liquid food coloring, you may need to use about 1 teaspoon depending on the color you want.


  • 1 1/2 cups Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 3/4 Cup whole milk

  • 1 drop green gel food coloring (see Note)

  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract

For garnish

  • whipped cream (bought or homemade)

  • 1 tablespoon green sprinkles

  • 2 Maraschino cherries


  1. Make the shake:

    In a blender, combine vanilla ice cream, milk, and food coloring. Mix until smooth.

  2. Divide it into two glasses:

    Divide the milkshake mixture evenly between two glasses.

  3. Dress and serve:

    Top with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry. Straws recommended but not required.

nutritional information (per serving)
264 calories
14g Fat
28g carbohydrates
6g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!