The Shamrocks of McDonald’s


Todd Van Hoosear | Openverse

The iconic McDonald’s Shamrock Shake did not live up to expectations, but the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry delivered on both flavor and texture.

Sarah Yosef

St. Patrick’s Day is a time when people wear green, enjoy some corn beef and cabbage and, for many here in Wisconsin, celebrate their Irish heritage. St. Patrick’s day was originally a holiday commemorating the life of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland through him. However, today it is mostly used as a time to celebrate Irish culture by enjoying parades, traditional foods, music, dancing, drinking and a whole lot of green.

The most important way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is by going to McDonald’s to have their seasonal  shake. The Shamrock Shake was created in 1967 by Hal Rosen, a Connecticut McDonald’s owner, who invented the famous shake in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. It debuted nationally in 1970 and was an instant success across the country. It was first named the St. Patrick’s Day Shake and received its iconic name years later. The classic shake hasn’t always been the minty concoction we know it is today, the original recipe was a lemon-lime sherbet and the recipe switched in 1973 to be just vanilla with food coloring. Not until 1983 did the shake become the mildly minty confection we have now. In 2020, McDonalds added another Shamrock-themed dessert, the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry.

So in celebration of St Patrick’s day, I am reviewing both the Shamrock Shake and the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, starting off strong with the iconic Shamrock Shake. 

With its distinct minty flavor that is both present yet subtle, the Shamrock Shake emphasizes the vanilla, giving it a really nice aftertaste. It is kinda like ice cream that has been watered down. Honestly, the shake being green and only around for a limited time is the only reason I would have it again. It is very straightforward, and there are not many flavors that are working in the shake, making it kinda bland. Although, I do like the whipped cream on top. Overall, I would rate the Shamrock Shake a 2.5 out of 5.

Next, the new Oreo Shamrock McFlurry.

Compared to the Shamrock Shake, the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry is creamy with more bite; there is a nice crunch from the Oreos that really elevates itself. The iconic minty flavor is not as pungent, and there is more to it than just mint. I enjoyed that it felt more like ice cream. It was not as liquidy, giving some much-needed texture. The vanilla does come through, but the mint is a more prominent addition that gives a really interesting flavor profile.  Overall, I would rate the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry a 4 out of 5.

Natan Yosef , a sophomore at Middleton High School, agreed that the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry is better than the Shamrock Shake.

“Ice cream tastes better than shakes, and the Shamrock Shake honestly is quite bland,” she said. 

The Shamrock Shake since the 70s have sold more than 60 million shakes, and with many different variations that have come and gone the Shamrock Shake has stood the test of time. So next St. Patrick’s Day, join in the traditions by going to McDonald’s and having one of the Shamrock themed desserts.


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