Here’s the history of the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

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Shamrock shake with whipped cream for Saint Patricks day

People either love or hate the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.  The mint-vanilla shake that’s available at the restaurants nationwide each February and March have become somewhat of a cult classic in America.

Invented in 1967 by Hal Rose, a McDonald’s restaurant operator in Connecticut, after gaining the approval of the local customers, McDonald’s adopted the shake in test sites across America in 1970.

The company said it was an instant success.

Profits from the shake eventually went into helping the company build the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia in 1974.


In 1980, McDonald’s tried to double down on the Shamrock Shake’s success and introduced a minty new Shamrock Sundae which was vanilla ice cream topped with the Shamrock Shake syrup.  It didn’t really take off because customers enjoyed the idea of the shake and not so much the idea of vanilla ice cream with some green syrup on top.

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The Shamrock Sundae was discontinued that year and never came back, but unofficially you can visit shamrockshake.com and see which operators still make them.

The Shamrock Shake was never a national product until 2012. Prior to that year, it was only available each year in certain markets.

McDonald’s tried to up their Shamrock Shake game in again in 2017 by allowing it to be available with chocolate ice cream.


In 2020, the company introduced the Shamrock Shake Oreo McFlurry.  You can also get Shamrock Shake syrup in many of the chain’s breakfast drinks if you ask.

The Shamrock Shake will be around once again in 2021 until the local stores run out.