It's McDonald’s legendary Shamrock Shake time, aka St. Patrick's Day, but we thought you might want to try an adult version of the minty treat yourselves!

When you think about it, March isn't the best time to be drinking shakes so keep using this Shamrock Shake cocktail recipe well into the summer months to enjoy it to the utmost. 

Here’s a grown-up version of the McDonald's Shamrock Shake you can make at home for your St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Shamrock Shake cocktail recipe

(This recipe is just for the adults! Enjoy responsibly!)


  • 1 ¾ cups low-fat vanilla ice cream
  • ¼ cup vanilla vodka (or unflavored vodka + ½ tsp vanilla extract)
  • ¼ cup Crème de Menthe
  • ½ tbsp grated dark chocolate + 1 tsp for topping
  • A few sprigs of mint 


Throw ice cream, vodka, and crème de menthe in a blender and mix until it’s just evenly combined. Make sure not to over-blend. If you do, just add more ice cream! 

Here's some history about the classic McDonald's Shamrock Shake:

It may be a firm favorite treat around March 17, but did you know Shamrock Shakes were originally invented to raise money for charity?

The Shamrock Shake was developed in 1970, according to McDonald's. However, according to a 2011 report on, Harold Rosen, who owned a McDonald's in Connecticut, claims he invented the popular holiday drink in 1966.

The McDonald's website says, "It all began with a little girl, a football team, and a visionary doctor."

The Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill's daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and began treatment. The Hill family were camping out in waiting rooms in hospitals and saw other families doing the same. They realized that many families who were traveling long distances to visit their sick family members had nowhere to stay and could not afford hotel rooms. The Hill family did something about it.

Hill and his team decided to raise some funds. The team's general manager, Jim Murray, called a friend in McDonald's advertising and suggested the team on the next promotional push. It just happened to be St. Patrick's Day.

Rogers Merchandising in Chicago created the shake and James Byrne, the executive artist at the firm, used a family recipe.

The Shamrock Shake raised enough money to buy a four-story house which was the first Ronald McDonald House. 

The Ronald McDonald House programs have exploded in size as a much-needed resource for families dealing with the difficulties of looking after a sick child in the hospital. It now has a presence in 60 countries and regions across the globe providing homes, family rooms, care mobiles, grants, and scholarships that help almost 6 million families. 

Kim Hill, the girl who inspired it all, unfortunately, passed away in 2011 aged 44.

*Originally published in August 2016. Last updated in March 2023.