DIY “Shamrock” Milkshakes For St. Patrick’s Day!

Yes, you can fake a milkshake! Enjoy this classic St. Patrick’s Day indulgence with 3 recipes to try!

Creamy, cold and delicious, the milkshake is a classic American indulgence. And like so many things leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, this iconic ice cream treat goes green each year—fans know it as the Shamrock Shake™ made famous by McDonald’s fast food restaurant.

Bright green and made of the perfect blend of milk and ice cream, the milkshake doesn’t get its green color from shamrocks, but from mint and food coloring. It garnered cult status over the years since first appearing over 40 years ago. Why? For one, up until 2012, it was only available in limited markets, for a limited time, so that elevated its demand. Since its introduction in 1970, over 60 million of these high-calorie concoctions have been served. And considering that each sized-small milkshake has a whopping 530 calories and 15 grams of fat, once-a-year is more than enough.

But you can indulge in this popular green milkshake for St. Patrick’s Day with these three DIY recipes, two healthy and one copycat (not-so-healthy) of the fast food classic. Try one or all three!

Secrets To A Great Shake

Before you begin, here are three secrets to making a great milkshake, green or not.

1. Let your ice cream (vanilla is best) soften until it’s the consistency of soft-serve.
2. Chill your favorite milkshake glass in the freezer until ready to use.
3. Some like them thin, some like them thick. Either way, the smoothest milkshakes use just a splash of milk; adjust to your liking.

Milkshake - Shamrock Shake

Shamrock Milkshake Recipe

This is a classic copycat recipe from a popular fast food restaurant!
Course beverages
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • 1 ½ cups  vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup  whole milk (again, adjust amount to your liking)
  • 8 drops  green food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon  mint extract (not peppermint)
  • Whipped cream (because, why not?)
  • 2 maraschino  cherries


  • Combine ice cream, milk, food coloring, and mint extract in a blender on high until smooth. Pour into chilled glass and top with whipped cream and cherry. Serves 2.
Keyword Milkshake Recipe, Shamrock Milkshake Recipe
Shamrock mint shake.

Simple (Healthy) Shamrock Smoothie

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • cups  milk (dairy or non-dairy, such as coconut milk)
  • 1 cup  fresh spinach
  • 8 fresh  mint leaves
  • Optional: honey or maple syrup to sweeten
  • Vegan whipped coconut cream 
  • Optional Healthy Toppings: Cacao nibs, mint leaves


  • Place everything except whipped coconut cream and toppings in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  • Pour into chilled glasses and top with whipped coconut cream, and sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Serves 2.
  • Another way to make a healthy green shake is to use green tea Matcha powder.
Keyword Shamrock Smoothie, shamrock smoothie recipe, Simple Healthy Shamrock Smoothie
Homemade Green Matcha Shamrock Shakes.

You’ve Met Your Matcha Shamrock Milkshake

This healthier version of the classic is a yummy way to get your green in for St. Patrick's Day (or any day)!
Course beverages
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • tablespoon  matcha powder
  • tablespoon  honey
  • cup  milk (nut milk, dairy milk, or goat’s milk)
  • Handful of ice


  • Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • Serve in ice-cold glass. Serves 1.
  • Shakes should be served with both a spoon and a (reusable or paper) straw!
Keyword Matcha (healthy) Shamrock Milkshake, Shamrock Milkshake, Shamrock Milkshake Recipe
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Milkshake - Common Dandelion
Christina Carr

Christina Carr is a freelance writer and television producer who has worked for NASA, PBS and John Edward, the psychic medium. She is a proponent of sustainable and healthy living, and lives in NYC with her 4-year-old daughter and musician husband.

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Carol Shutowich

Can’t wait to try this shamrock shake.

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