How to Make a Delicious Shamrock Shake at Home

Our homemade take on the fast food favorite keeps the minty flavor (and awesome color!) you love—but ditches the corn syrup and food coloring.

The Shamrock Shake, the minty, psychedelic-green St. Patrick’s Day-themed treat that McDonald’s rolls out to much fanfare each March, may taste dreamy—but, be warned: Inside that magically delicious drink lurks a massive list of ingredients: Yellow #5. Blue #1. Polysorbate 80. Disodium Phosphate. Guar Gum. Vitamin A Palmitate. Also: 530 calories and the same amount of sugar—a whopping 73 grams delivered via 3 different kinds of corn syrup—that you’d get from eating 3 ½ Hostess cupcakes.

But before you go crying into your cup, take heart. We headed to the kitchen for some experimentation. The happy results? A homemade version that keeps the cool color and flavor, with just six ingredients.

DIY Shamrock Shake

The addition of heavy cream might seem indulgent here, but it has a practical purpose. Just as beating cream with a whisk will result in whipped cream, whirring some in your blender along with the rest of your ingredients will lend the finished drink a decadently rich, mousse-like texture.

Total Time: 5 minutes

Hands On Time: 5 minutes

Makes 2 shakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions

  1. Place the ice cream, milk, cream, mint, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.

And if you really want to live it up....

Boozy Shamrock Shake

Adults only, please. This twist on the classic gets a little pep in its step from the addition of a shot of Branca Menta, an Italian amaro with a complex minty, herbal edge. But if you can’t find it in your local store, classic creme de menthe will also do in a pinch!

Total Time: 5 minutes

Hands On Time: 5 minutes

Makes 2 shakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz Branca Menta liqueur
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place the ice cream, milk, cream, mint, Branca Menta, mint, and vanilla extract in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.