Publication date March 7, 2024

Homemade Shamrock Shake: Easy St. Patty's Day Treat

Homemade Shamrock Shake: Easy St. Patty's Day Treat

You don't need to wait for McDonald's to bring back their famous Shamrock Shake to get your minty green fix this St. Patrick's Day. This easy homemade version can be whipped up in minutes and tastes even better than the fast food favorite. With just a few simple ingredients like vanilla ice cream, mint extract, and green food coloring, you'll feel like a leprechaun drinking this cool, creamy, and refreshing shake. Customize it to your taste by adding chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, or omitting the food coloring entirely. However you make it, this shake is sure to give you some good old-fashioned luck o' the Irish. Sláinte!

What Is a Shamrock Shake?

If you've never had a Shamrock Shake, you're missing out! This minty green treat has become a St. Patrick's Day tradition. A Shamrock Shake is a mint-flavored milkshake usually made of vanilla ice cream, milk, and mint extract or mint-flavored syrup. The signature bright green color comes from food coloring, naturally.

The Classic Recipe

The original McDonald's Shamrock Shake recipe is still the standard. You'll need:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Milk
  • Peppermint or mint extract
  • Green food coloring
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Blend the ice cream, milk, and a few drops of extract and food coloring until smooth and creamy. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy! For an extra special treat, add crushed Andes mints or Oreos.

Customize It!

Once you've mastered the classic, why not try your own spin? Replace some of the milk with coconut milk or almond milk for a lighter shake. Or add chocolate ice cream for a mint chocolate chip version. If green's not your color, leave out the food coloring. You really can't go wrong with this delicious cooler!

The Shamrock Shake only comes around once a year, so savor each minty sip! With the perfect balance of refreshment and decadence, this St. Patty's Day treat is sure to become a new favorite.

Homemade Shamrock Shake Recipe

Making your own Shamrock Shake at home is actually pretty easy and delicious! All you need are a few simple ingredients to create this St. Patty’s Day treat.


  • Vanilla ice cream: Use your favorite brand of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. For an authentic McDonald’s taste, look for a lighter, fluffier ice cream.
  • Milk or cream: Whole milk, 2% milk or half and half all work great. For an extra creamy shake use half and half or whipping cream.
  • Mint extract: Just a few drops of pure mint extract add a ton of fresh minty flavor. Use 1/2 teaspoon or to taste.
  • Green food coloring (optional): Add a few drops of green food coloring for a shamrock green color. Use the amount suggested on the bottle to achieve your desired shade of green.
  • Whipped cream (optional): Top your shamrock shake with a dollop of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry for an extra special treat.


How to make shamrock shake

Source: Dessert For Two

  1. Add 3-4 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 1 1/2 cups of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract to a blender.
  2. Blend everything on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add a few drops of green food coloring and blend to combine. Add more coloring for a brighter green shade.
  4. Pour into chilled glasses and top with whipped cream and a cherry if desired.
  5. Enjoy your homemade Shamrock Shake! Adjust amounts to your taste and add more or less mint extract for your perfect minty flavor.

Your friends and family will love this homemade version of a McDonald's classic. Why wait for St. Patrick’s Day - enjoy a Shamrock Shake any time! With a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious minty treat from your own kitchen.

Tips for the Perfect Homemade Shamrock Shake

Use Quality Ingredients

For the best tasting shamrock shake, use high quality ingredients. Opt for vanilla ice cream that’s creamy and full of vanilla flavor, not the cheap store brand stuff. Same goes for the milk—whole milk or half and half will provide a richer, creamier shake than skim or low-fat milk.

Add Extra Mint Extract

The mint extract is what gives the shake its distinctive green color and minty flavor. Add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract for an extra burst of fresh minty flavor. You can also add a few drops of green food coloring if you want an even greener shake.

Blend Until Smooth

For the perfect thick and frosty shake, blend all the ingredients on high speed until the shake is completely smooth and creamy with no chunks of ice cream remaining. This usually takes 3 to 5 minutes in a standard blender. If your blender is struggling, stop and scrape down the sides, then continue blending.

Top it Off

Once your shamrock shake is blended smooth and frosty, top it off with an extra drizzle of chocolate syrup, whipped cream, crushed peppermint candy pieces or chocolate chips. These extras take your shake to the next level and provide different textures and flavors in each sip.

Adjust to Taste

The amounts of each ingredient in the recipe are just a starting point. You may need to adjust amounts up or down depending on how minty or thick you want your shake. Add more or less milk for your desired consistency and more or less mint extract for flavor. Keep blending and tasting until your shamrock shake is perfect for you!

With these tips, you’ll be enjoying a refreshing homemade shamrock shake in no time. Mix up a batch for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime you have a hankering for this cool minty treat. Your friends and family will love this classic shake with a fresh minty twist.

Shamrock Shake Ingredient Substitutions

Mint extract instead of peppermint extract

Don’t have peppermint extract on hand? No problem. Mint extract works great as a substitute and provides that distinctive minty flavor. Use the same amount of mint extract as the recipe calls for in peppermint extract. You really can’t go wrong with either one.

Vanilla ice cream instead of vanilla frozen yogurt

Vanilla ice cream will work in a pinch if you don’t have vanilla frozen yogurt. Ice cream tends to be creamier and richer, so you may need to adjust the amounts of other liquids like milk or cream. Start with a little less and add more to reach your desired consistency.

Almond milk instead of regular milk

For a dairy-free version, almond milk can replace the regular milk. Almond milk has a subtle nutty flavor that complements the mint and chocolate flavors well. Use an unsweetened almond milk and you may need to add a bit more sugar to taste. Coconut milk also works great as a non-dairy sub.

Chocolate syrup instead of chocolate chips

If you don’t have chocolate chips, chocolate syrup is an easy substitution. Use 3 to 4 tablespoons of chocolate syrup for the same chocolatey flavor. Add the syrup while blending the shake and taste, adding more as needed. The chocolate syrup may change the consistency of the shake slightly, making it a bit thinner, so you can add a bit more ice cream to compensate.

Crushed Oreos instead of chocolate chips

For a fun twist, crushed Oreos make a delicious substitute for chocolate chips. Use about 6-8 Oreo cookies, crushed into coarse crumbs. Add the crumbs while blending the shake and blend just until combined. The Oreo crumbs will add chocolate and cookie flavor to your shamrock shake. You may need to add a bit more milk or ice cream when using the Oreo crumbs.

With a few simple swaps and subs, you can create your perfect custom shamrock shake at home. Mix and match the substitutions to create your own signature St. Patty’s Day treat!

Shamrock Shake FAQs: Your Most Pressing Questions Answered

Do shamrock shakes have chocolate in them?

No, traditional Shamrock Shakes are mint-flavored and do not contain chocolate. The signature green color comes from mint extract and food coloring, not chocolate. Some places may offer chocolatey variations, but a classic Shamrock Shake is creamy minty bliss.

How do you make a shamrock shake?

Making a homemade Shamrock Shake is super easy. All you need is:

  • Vanilla ice cream: For a classic shake use vanilla bean or French vanilla.
  • Milk: Whole milk, 2% milk or almond milk will all work great.
  • Peppermint or mint extract: Just a few drops will do. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more to taste.
  • Green food coloring (optional): Add a few drops for a festive green color.
  • Whipped cream (optional): Top your shake with a dollop of whipped cream and crushed peppermint candies.

Simply blend the ice cream, milk, extract and food coloring (if using) in a blender until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candies. Enjoy your homemade Shamrock Shake!

What does a shamrock shake taste like?

A Shamrock Shake tastes like a minty, creamy vanilla milkshake. The signature flavor comes from peppermint or mint extract, which provides a refreshing minty flavor. Vanilla ice cream gives it a classic milkshake creaminess and richness. The result is a cool, creamy minty treat perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

Any tips for the perfect shamrock shake?

Here are some tips for making the perfect Shamrock Shake:

• Use high quality vanilla ice cream for maximum creaminess.

• Add the mint extract 1/4 teaspoon at a time, blending and tasting until it reaches your desired minty-ness. You can always add more, but you can't take it out!

• For a lighter shake use milk or almond milk. For an extra rich shake use half and half or heavy cream.

• Add a few drops of green food coloring for a festive St. Patty's Day color.

• Top with whipped cream, crushed peppermint candies, chocolate shavings or rainbow sprinkles.

• Adjust the amounts to your taste. You want it minty but not overpowering, creamy but not too thick.

• Blend for an extra minute or two to make it extra frosty.

• Enjoy your shake with friends and family for the perfect St. Patrick's Day treat!


So there you have it - an easy homemade shamrock shake that's perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day or whenever you have a craving for that cool, minty deliciousness. With just a few simple ingredients you can whip one up in minutes. Experiment with adding chocolate or using different extracts to customize the flavor. The best part is you control the ingredients so you can make a healthier version or one perfectly tailored to your dietary needs. However you shake it up, this festive drink is sure to add some green cheer to your day. Whip one up and toast to the luck o' the Irish this St. Patty's Day!

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