What You Should Know Before Ordering McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

What You Should Know Before Ordering McDonald’s Shamrock Shake


The Shamrock Shake is shockingly green and
shockingly popular. We’re betting there are still things you don’t
know about it, though and we’re here to dish on your favorite St. Paddy’s Day-themed beverage. “What do they call an Irish jig at McDonald’s?” “…What?” “the Shamrock Shake!” Ancient cultures had their own rites and rituals
observed to welcome in the springtime and the modern world has, well… Shamrock Shakes. They’re a pretty familiar part of our fast
food landscape, and that’s what makes it extra surprising that they’ve only been a nationwide
offering since 2012. That’s not a typo, and Business Insider says
that’s the first year McDonald’s made the move to offering the Shamrock Shake in restaurants
from coast to coast. Until then, it was up to the individual franchise
whether or not they would make the extra effort to offer up this seasonal treat. In 2011, only about half of all McDonald’s
were selling Shamrock Shakes, and that’s the very definition of unthinkable. The Shamrock Shake had a big year in 2012
it’s also when the shake was given a bit of a shakeup, and got topped with whipped cream
and a cherry to give it more of a dessert-like appearance. So, what does Ireland think of the Shamrock
Shake? They are available in the Emerald Isle, but
that doesn’t mean they’re entirely happy about it. In 2017, McDonald’s had to apologize to the
entire country over an ill-conceived advertisement that featured a man with red hair wearing
a tartan which is Scottish, bee tee dubz playing the milkshake like a set of bagpipes … which
are also Scottish … in front of Stonehenge… which is in England… while, wait for it…
sheep roam around in the background. So, like… super Irish, huh? “What you just said is one of the most insanely
idiotic things I have ever heard.” The Irish Post reported that an official apology
came not long after social media pointed out that McDonald’s had clearly not done their
research, leading to enough controversy that the ad was pulled. One Twitter user commented, quote, “Are the
sheep Irish? Because nothing else in this picture is.” A formal complaint had been lodged by the
Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternity with its headquarters in the U.S.,
leading McDonald’s to not only apologize but reaffirm how much they actually love Ireland. A spokesperson for McDonald’s said at the
time: “Please know that McDonald’s is strongly supportive
of Ireland and respectful of its culture.” Yeah OK. We all know what a Shamrock Shake tastes like…
don’t we? Do some internet browsing, and you’ll find
there’s actually a debate that’s raging about just what a Shamrock Shake tastes like. Oh, don’t you just love the internet? The Chicago Tribune says that when McDonald’s
rolled out their new Shamrock Shake flavors in 2017, they specified the flavor was mint,
which is exactly what you expect it to be, given the color. Added that year were the Chocolate Shamrock
Shake, the Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe, the Shamrock Hot Chocolate, and the Shamrock
Mocha… flavor profiles that mix perfectly with mint. But some people on the internet don’t agree
with that mint flavor, saying they can detect other, non-mint flavors in the Shamrock shake. The debate on this happening on The Straight
Dope boards is a perfect example of the controversy, with posters claiming they’re mint, lime,
or just plain old vanilla with green dye added. Some say the mint flavor is so strong it tastes
like toothpaste. Some people even believe they’re all three
flavors at once. Surprisingly, most of them have it right. It just depends on when they last tasted the
Shamrock Shake… You probably wouldn’t even recognize those
first Shamrock Shakes as being the same product now served up every spring at McDonald’s. First of all, they weren’t originally called
Shamrock Shakes they were the decidedly less catchy “St. Patrick’s Day Green Milkshake.” Straightforward and to the point, maybe, but
definitely lacking in creativity. What was inside of the cup was just as different. The first few years the green milkshake was
sold, starting in 1970, the shake was a weird concoction of lemon-lime sherbet, vanilla
ice cream, and vanilla syrup. In 1973, they switched to a plain vanilla
shake with green coloring. It wasn’t until 1983 that McDonald’s unveiled
the mint-flavored shake we know and love today. More than likely, this is where the flavor
controversy stems from even though it’s remained unchanged for more than three decades. The Shamrock Shake once had its own questionably
tasteful mascot, and his name was Uncle O’Grimacey. If the name alone didn’t make you cringe,
check out this very ’70s-quality commercial. “Uncle O’Grimacey!” “Hello, boys. I’m back! And I’m painting everything green to match
the Shamrock Shake!” Uncle O’Grimacey was a formal part of McDonald’s
lore, says The Daily Meal, and fortunately, he was only around for a few years. He was the Irish uncle of Grimace, and looked
exactly like his purple nephew. The only difference was that Uncle O’Grimacey
was, well… green. He essentially showed up when the Shamrock
Shakes did, wore green, and carried a shillelagh… because, of course he did. Apparently, not enough people caught on the
Uncle O’Grimacey hype, because he disappeared pretty quickly. Uncle O’Grimacey was around for Shamrock Shake
seasons in 1977 and 1978, and then was never seen again. McDonald’s only recently added other Shamrock
Shake-inspired offerings, and for years, getting a half-chocolate, half-mint version of the
shake was a semi-secret that Hack the Menu says was given the rather dubious name of
the McLeprechaun Shake. Now that it’s an official menu item, people
needed to figure out how to make sure they were getting the optimal ratio of chocolate
to mint. Enter, the STRAW, which Co. Design says stands for the “Suction Tube for
Reverse Axial Withdrawal.” It was designed or, more accurately, engineered
by NK Labs, who described the whole scenario as presenting, quote, “…quite a few engineering
and scientific challenges.” They’re no slouches either. They’ve worked with Google, NASA, and DARPA,
and now, they’ve worked with McDonald’s. With help from around 100 shakes, they engineered
a weird, J-shaped straw with some conveniently placed holes that would ensure the perfect
flavor ratio. You had to be quick to get the original run,
as only about 2,000 were distributed across 80 cities. If you were lucky enough to get one or maybe
to score one on eBay it’s worth holding on to all year long just to get that perfect
sip of Chocolate Shamrock Shake. If you happened to be in New York City in
2010 and you came down with a hankerin’ for a Shamrock Shake, Gothamist reports you might
have been sorely disappointed. You can thank Jimmy Fallon for creating a
temporary shortage of Shamrock Shakes when he just went ahead and bought them all. New York had been without Shamrock Shakes
for years they hadn’t gone national at this point and when they finally returned, everyone
was overjoyed. That is, until they sold out pretty quickly,
thanks to our favorite late night talk show host. How many did Fallon buy? Lots. The McDonald’s in Union Square reportedly
ran out after some madman went in and ordered 100, and if you’re wondering how he carried
all those through the city streets, well, you’re not alone. It wasn’t immediately clear what was going
on, but amid this mysterious shake shortage, Fallon ended one of his shows by gloating
over his own Shamrock Shake, and handing one out to everyone in the audience. Mystery solved. Sure, you’re not heading into McDonald’s for
a Shamrock Shake thinking that it’s good for you, but you might be surprised at just how
bad it really is. According to McDonald’s nutritional information,
a large Shamrock Shake contains a whopping 790 calories and 22 grams of fat. A heart-stopping 14 grams of that is saturated
fat, and you’ll also be putting away 112 grams of sugar. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. That same shake will give you about 50 percent
of your daily calcium… so that’s a plus? Kinda? Now, let’s put that into perspective. Order a Big Mac, and you’re getting 540 calories
and 28 grams of fat, along with less saturated fat and way less sugar. Never thought you’d look at a Big Mac as a
healthier option, did you? The 42 says the Shamrock Shake isn’t just
another pretty dessert, but it also has its roots in a great cause one that most of us
are probably familiar with. In 1974, a Philadelphia girl named Babe Canuso
was diagnosed with leukemia. After the doctors worked their magic and Babe
went home, her father, John, was looking for a way to help other families in similar situations,
especially those who might not have been so lucky. Up until that point, parents of sick children
were sleeping on cots in hospital hallways. When those doctors asked John, a home builder,
about building a house near the hospital where parents could stay while their kids were undergoing
treatment, the seeds of an idea were planted. That idea became the Ronald McDonald House,
and Canuso raised the money to build that first house with help from Philadelphia Eagles
GM Jimmy Murray. Murray was already involved with fundraising
to help offset the costs of leukemia treatments a cause he took up after the diagnosis of
the daughter of Eagles’ tight end Fred Hill. Murray pitched the idea of a green milkshake
fundraiser to tie in with St. Patrick’s Day to McDonald’s, and it was a huge success. “I said, ‘Can I get 25 cents from each Shamrock
Shake for this house?’ And he said, ‘if we give you all the money,
can we call it the Ronald McDonald House?'” Sales were good, funds were raised, and an
old fraternity house was bought and remodeled into the very first Ronald McDonald House. According to official McDonald’s lore, the
first Shamrock Shake was sold in Chicago in 1970. But there’s a second version of the tale,
and it’s told by the Rosen family. According to Mark Rosen, his father invented
the Shamrock Shake four years before its 1970 debut. The Rosens say they developed the green shake
at their Enfield, Connecticut McDonald’s as a special promotional item for St. Patrick’s
Day. Patriarch Harold Rosen had experience in the
dairy manufacturing business, and his son says there were a number of different variations
on the idea before they settled on the final, mint-flavored product. The younger Rosen said he and his family were
proud to have the Shamrock Shake associated with the legacy of the Ronald McDonald House,
and adds that the name was designed to not reveal a flavor, but to be a bit mysterious. That was to get people in the door, and spark
a little bit of curiosity about what this green bit of deliciousness tastes like. Even the Smithsonian isn’t sure who to give
credit for the green shake to, saying it could be either Rosen in 1966, or McDonald’s itself
in 1970. No matter who invented the Shamrock Shake,
we’re all very glad that they did. Not every Shamrock Shake you buy is for a
good cause beyond your own enjoyment, that is. But a lot of them are, because there’s a good
number of McDonald’s locations that still use them as a fundraising tool. That connection was very, very visible in
2010 and 2011, when a giant version of the Shamrock Shake, tipped on its side, was floated
down the Chicago River to appear to turn the river green. The river was already dyed green, of course,
but the big, spilled shake was a reminder to pick up a shake in support of the Ronald
McDonald House. It worked, says Delish, and it raised about
$10,000 each year. Other franchises have turned Shamrock Shakes
into fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House on a more local level. In 2015, San Diego stores donated $1 per Shamrock
Shake sold to their local Ronald McDonald House. McDonald’s locations across central Pennsylvania
have done the same thing, donating 25 cents per shake, and in 2017, Minnesota’s KROC announced
St. Patrick’s Day sales were going to benefit the House again. It’s not only delicious, but it’s usually
all to help a great cause. What’s better than that? Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
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37 thoughts on “What You Should Know Before Ordering McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

  1. i love mcdonalds but have not been there for ages cus there isnt one near me where i live AND cus its bad for me and i got told not to eat there by my mum and dad. but i still loved it but its kinda easy not to have it cus i cant get to one. BUT in a few months we got a mcdonalds opening up right near where i live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im gonna find it soooo hard not to go there and eat the burger and chips. i love the smell of it to

  2. Omg I forgot about that beautiful, delicious shake. I should drink it again and I will every year. ❤🍀 and I'm proud of sharing some of my Irish blood from my grandmother.

  3. Lmao, why are we using clips from Midsummer? Not the film I'd associate with a fast-food milkshake, I mean maybe a strawberry one but that's a stretch!

  4. For f sake its, saint-Patrick not saint-paty. Hate when Americans say 'happy saint-paty'' one more time, its saint-Patrick.

  5. Unless they've changed him with just a whipped cream and the cherry on top ????. McDonald's shakes have been around for a long time.. it's funny I believe I had them when I was a teenager. ? In high school.

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