My version of the iconic Shamrock Shake is all grown up and ready for St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s that time of year again. That’s right…Shamrock Shake time! As a kid, one of my favorite days of the year (after Christmas and my birthday) was when McDonalds released their Shamrock Shakes for a limited run. I couldn’t wait to get my first sip of that minty creaminess and I lamented that the season was so brief.
I’ve always loved anything mint flavored. Mint chocolate chip on a wafer cone topped with chocolate sprinkles was my standard ice cream order for many years. Who am I kidding, it’s still my go-to at the ice cream parlor. I guess you just don’t grow out of certain things.
I think I developed my fondness for minty desserts as a child. For a special treat my mom would swirl a little green creme de menthe over our vanilla ice cream after dinner. Perhaps that’s where I developed my fondness for cocktails too (thanks Mom). Never mind, in the 70’s we thought the fish sandwich at McDonalds was healthy eating, so what was the harm in a little creme de menthe? I used to take my spoon and mix that green liqueur right into the ice cream. And guess what it tasted like? My very own Shamrock Shake.
I’ve been wanting to make a boozy version of the classic forever. And of course with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner the timing couldn’t be better. I first tried to capture that minty flavor the natural way. I made a mint simple syrup with mint leaves and combined that with vanilla ice cream and vanilla vodka. It was good. It was actually very good, but it didn’t capture the essence of the real deal. So, I dug back into those childhood memories and grabbed the green creme de menthe. Yep, that’s the flavor.
To make the childhood shake into a fun adult cocktail I headed back to the liquor cabinet. I settled on the winning combination of vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, Irish cream and creme de menthe blended into vanilla ice cream with a splash of milk. A couple drops of green food coloring enhances the color, which is what makes this the perfect St. Patrick’s Day cocktail. The consistency is not as thick as a regular milk shake, but the grown up in me prefers this a little less ice-creamy and more drinkable.
If you’re a fan of mint as I am, be careful with this one. It may taste like the treat from your youth, but it’s definitely not G-rated. It’s sweet and frothy and packs a punch. And now that I’ve discovered how easy it is to recreate these flavors at home, Shamrock Shake season doesn’t have to end in March. Instead we can celebrate St. Patricks’s Day all year round, much to the chagrin of my liver.
- 2 pints vanilla ice cream
- 4 oz vanilla vodka
- 4 oz green creme de menthe
- 2 oz Irish cream liqueur
- 3 oz peppermint schnapps
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- a few drops green food coloring if desired
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy.