Shamrock Shake

If you are from anywhere around my generation, the mere sight of this milky green concoction brings back childhood memories, and the song “My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard” is humming in your head. When it comes time for Shamrock Shake season, I can’t turn one of these down, so I decided to recreate it at home.

straight on shot of two shamrock shakes


My kids aren’t fans of mint so I omit it when I make this for them. You can do the same or feel free to add whatever flavor you want. The important part is that it’s green and looks pretty!

I also take the traditional shake up a notch with pretty sprinkles and frosting that the kids can lick as they slurp down this delicious milkshake. And don’t sleep on serving it in fun glasses! These malt glasses are perfect to keep around for any kiddy drinks!


You can keep these simple ingredients in your fridge, freezer, and pantry so that you can make these shakes whenever you have a craving.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream – I like to make my own vanilla bean ice cream, but store-bought works just as well. You may want to leave it on the counter for a few minutes to let it soften before scooping. 
  • Whole Milk – Full-fat milk will give you the creamiest results but you can use other varieties if that’s what you have on hand. 
  • Liquid Green Food Coloring – This is what gives the shake its festive color. Feel free to add more or less to adjust the color.
  • Mint Extract – Keep in mind that mint is not the same flavor as spearmint or peppermint. If you want the authentic McDonald’s version and flavor, use mint flavoring
  • Vanilla Frosting – The frosting adds another element of sweetness and helps the sprinkles adhere to the glass. Store-bought frosting will work just fine, or you can easily make vanilla buttercream frosting to use. 
  • St. Patrick’s Day Festive Sprinkles – I like to use green and gold sprinkles but you can use any color you like. Plain green sprinkles or rainbow sprinkles work well, too!
  • Whipped Cream – The spray bottles of whipped cream from the grocery store work well for adding it to the top but you can also spoon dollops of homemade whipped cream on, too. 
  • Maraschino Cherries – These bright red cherries create a bright pop of color on top of the milkshake. 
overhead shot of shamrock shake ingredients

How to Make a Shamrock Shake

When you’re whipping up this quick shake, make sure to garnish the glass first so it’s ready when the shake is blended. 

  1. Add icing to glass. To decorate the glass, start by applying vanilla frosting around the entire rim of the glass. Using an offset spatula or a butter knife is the easiest way.. 
  2. Roll in sprinkles. Roll the rim over the top of the sprinkles that have been poured onto a plate. 
  3. Blend milkshake ingredients. Add all of the milkshake ingredients to a blender. Blend until all ingredients are combined and the color is consistent throughout.
  4. Add to glasses and garnish. Transfer to the garnished glasses. Add a dollop of whipped cream and top with maraschino cherries. 

What to Serve With a Shamrock Shake

This sweet shake is a delicious drinkable dessert all by itself but you can also serve it with other St. Patrick’s Day-themed sweets. Try serving it with treats like St. Patrick’s Day dunkaroo dip, pot of gold puppy chow, rainbow cupcakes, or grasshopper cheesecake bars.    

angled shot of shamrock shakes topped with whipped cream


This shake is meant to be fun — play around with different flavors and textures to make it your own!

  • Extract – You can switch up the flavor of the shake by using different extracts. However, adding extracts that are not clear can alter the color of the shake.
  • Food Coloring – If you use professional-grade or gel food coloring instead of liquid food coloring, you can use less to achieve the same color. 
  • Ice Cream – You can use any light-colored ice cream that you like in place of vanilla ice cream. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is a great option!
  • Add-Ins – You can mix other ingredients in for more texture and sweet flavor. Crumbled Oreo cookies, mini chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips), or crushed graham crackers all work well. 
  • Frosting – You can use a different flavor of frosting or add green food coloring to the vanilla to make it even more festive. Go with a chocolate mint flavor by using chocolate frosting.
  • Toppings – A drizzle of chocolate syrup or fudge sauce over the top of the shake perfectly complements the minty flavor. You can also sprinkle green sugar over the top of the whipped cream.
  • Liquor – Transform this drink into an adult beverage by blending in vodka, whiskey, or your favorite spirit. Liqueurs like crème de menthe and Irish cream work well too.
  • Vegan/Dairy-Free – To make this a vegan-friendly milkshake, use your favorite vegan ice cream and blend it with coconut milk or almond milk.
  • Fruit – If you’re trying to sneak in a little fiber and other nutrients, try blending in a frozen banana or other fruits.

Storage and Freezing

Homemade milkshakes are best when you drink them straight from the blender. However, if you do wind up with leftovers, it’s best to store them in the freezer. 

Storing Shamrock Shake in Refrigerator

If you store the shake in the refrigerator, it will lose its thick consistency. But, if you’re okay with that, you can keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Shake, stir, or blend it back together if it separates.

Storing Shamrock Shake in Freezer

You can store a milkshake in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 weeks. Let it thaw briefly in the refrigerator before blending it back together to revive its creamy texture.

straight on shot of whipped cream and cherries on milkshakes

Common Questions about Shamrock Shakes

What is Shamrock Shake made of?

The original McDonald’s shake uses a proprietary syrup along with low-fat vanilla ice cream and light whipped cream. Our version has ice cream, whole milk, mint extract, and food coloring with whipped cream and sprinkles on top.

What does the Shamrock Shake taste like?

Shamrock shakes are creamy and sweet with flavors of both vanilla and mint.

Why is the Shamrock Shake green?

Created in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the original Shamrock Shake gets its green hue from the proprietary syrup McDonald’s uses to make it. In this copycat Shamrock Shake recipe, we use mint extract and green food coloring to achieve the green color.

overhead shot of shamrock shake

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straight on shot of two shamrock shakes with text overlay for pinterest
straight on shot of two shamrock shakes

Homemade Shamrock Shake Recipe

4.20 from 5 votes
This copycat Shamrock Shake recipe is a sweet, minty milkshake with the addition of a fun rimmed garnish! Perfect for St. Patrick's Day!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2


Shamrock Shake:



  • Using a butter knife, spread the vanilla frosting about 1 inch down on the rim of your milkshake glasses.
  • Spread the sprinkles in a shallow dish or plate and rolling the tacky frosting in the sprinkles. Set aside until you make the milkshakes.


  • In a large blender, combine the ice cream, whole milk, food coloring and mint extract. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into prepared milkshake glasses.
  • Top with whipped cream and maraschino cherries.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


If using gel or professional green food coloring, you will need less- I measure by a swirl of a toothpick. 


Calories: 428 kcal, Carbohydrates: 48 g, Protein: 9 g, Fat: 22 g, Saturated Fat: 13 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 84 mg, Sodium: 180 mg, Potassium: 468 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 44 g, Vitamin A: 843 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 324 mg, Iron: 0.2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 428
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shamrock shake
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of shamrock shakes for pinteresr
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    What I love most about this copycat recipe, other than that its delicious, is that I can now make this anytime I want. Yummy!