Return of a Favorite: Shamrock Shake


Todd Van Hoosear/Wikimedia

Students of Nonnewaug are among the many flocking to their local McDonald’s to get a sip of the seasonal Shamrock Shake.

Madelynn Orosz, Ag/FFA Editor

As spring starts to roll around, a familiar green sight greets people of all ages — not the grass, but a certain McDonald’s milkshake. 

The Shamrock Shake, notable for its minty syrup mixed with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on top, makes it a staple for the season. 

“Growing up, I would always get them with my family,” said Chloe Weaver, a Nonnewaug sophomore and Shamrock Shake enthusiast. “I really like them.” 

How did the drink become a household staple?

“Every year customers eagerly await the return of the Shamrock Shake — and over the past five decades, getting a sip of this green legend has become a seasonal tradition for many,” McDonald’s archivist Mike Bullington said in 2020, during the 50th anniversary of the drink.

“The shake’s unique history and widespread passion for this menu item has qualified the Shamrock Shake as a beloved cultural icon. We feel lucky to have such dedicated Shamrock fanatics, and hope to continue the legacy of this legendary treat for many more years to come,” added Bullington.

It all started because of Hal Rosen, a McDonald’s franchisee from Enfield, Connecticut. Rosen created the treat in 1967 just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, to rave reviews. Word of the drink spread and the iconic milkshake started popping up at more McDonald’s locations regionally in 1970. Shakes still weren’t available at every location nationwide until 2012. 

“I like [Shamrock Shakes] because I like mint-flavored stuff and I’m Irish, so I guess I have to like it,” said Kaitlyn Boyce, an NHS junior. 

As America experienced and fell in love with the treat, other countries started asking for them to come to McDonald’s in their country. Shamrock Shakes didn’t go international until 2020. During the 50th anniversary of the drink, Ireland and Canada also received the drink to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. 

The treat is once again becoming a staple in the diet of many Nonnewaug students and people across the country. They all share a common sentiment about the drink, and NHS junior Vicky Koether says it best: Shamrock shakes are amazing.”