Shamrock Shakes Are Returning To McDonald’s

It may not be March quite yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day — with a little help from McDonald’s.

The fast-food chain’s beloved Shamrock Shake will officially return to the menu at participating restaurants on Feb. 21, 2022, right along with the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry.

The green milkshake is made with vanilla soft serve and a mint-flavored Shamrock Shake syrup, while the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry combines the shake and Oreo cookies for a spoonable dessert.

Both minty green treats will only be around for a limited time, so you’ll want to get your fill ASAP.

McDonald's

The Shamrock Shake  has been around since 1970, and it has managed to gain quite a cult following. According to the Huffington Post, McDonald’s has sold more than 60 million Shamrock Shakes over the years.

But, according to Vox, the Shamrock Shake wasn’t always the minty, creamy concoction so many know and love today. There are accounts of the shake using lemon-lime sherbet, having a plain vanilla flavor accompanied by green food coloring and, finally, becoming the mint-flavored drink we know today in 1983.

This year, McDonald’s says they’re sharing the “secret ingredient” that gives the dessert its iconic green color — but it’s not a food ingredient. Rather, they’ve shared the key to attaining the color itself: the shake’s shamrock hue is hex code #cbf2ac. Some of their marketing for the 2022 Shamrock Shake highlights their shade of green in a series of rectangles that will be familiar to anyone who has brought color sample cards home from the paint store:

McDonald's

There are some serious fans of the Shamrock Shake, and that’s been a major win for McDonald’s. Burt Flickinger III, managing director of the Strategic Resource Group, a retail and consumer goods consultancy, told USA Today that the fast-food chain earns higher sales when this drink is available.

“McDonald’s definitely gets a profitable sales boost, especially between now and March, when everyone wants to be Irish,” Flickinger told the newspaper.

McDonald's

If you’re not interested in tracking down a McDonald’s near you that’s carrying this limited-edition dessert, it’s actually pretty simple to make one for yourself at home — no matter what time of year it is! You can even make an adults-only version by adding Baileys Irish Cream, vanilla vodka and creme de menthe liqueur.

Dairy Queen also has some similar treats this year, including a new mint brownie Blizzard that blends chocolatey brownie pieces and cool mint blended with DQ’s vanilla soft serve. They’re also bringing back their mint chip shake from 2021. The treat offers a blend of cool crème de menthe, choco confetti chips, DQ’s vanilla soft serve and milk.

Dairy Queen's mint chip shake
Dairy Queen

Will you be celebrating Shamrock Shake season?