For some people, it's just not St. Patrick's Day without corned beef and cabbage, preferably washed down with a pint of stout. For others, it's all about dressing up in green and going to a parade. But for lots of us, the true sign that St. Patrick's Day is coming is the annual arrival of McDonald's famous Shamrock Shake. The minty green shake — made with vanilla soft serve and Shamrock Syrup and finished with whipped topping — has developed a seriously devoted following of fans who eagerly await the few weeks the shake is available every year, and then joyously post about it on social media.
This year, the Shake hits U.S. stores on February 14 — just in time to get a shake for your Valentine! The great news is that you don't have to be lucky to get your favorite minty treat — just head to the Uber Eats app and you'll be sipping that sweet, green minty goodness in no time!
While you wait for your lucky delivery, whet your appetite with these fun facts about the history of the Shamrock Shake and St. Patrick's Day.
1. Why the shamrock?
St. Patrick's Day has transformed from a religious holiday into a celebration of all things Irish, but the holiday's lucky shamrock really is associated with the Saint, who is said to have used the clover as a symbol. As a result, the shamrock is now synonymous with Ireland. A typical shamrock has just three leaves so finding a four-leafed one is indeed lucky.
2. Going green
Green is the color of St. Patrick's Day thanks not just to the symbolic green shamrock, but also because of Ireland's greenness — anyone who's been to the lush country understands why it's called the Emerald Isle. The tradition of dying things green for the holiday extends to clothes, drinks, food, and even rivers — the Chicago River has been dyed green for the holiday since 1962!
3. The Shamrock Shake debuted in the United States in 1970
The first Shamrock Shake was introduced at McDonald's in the United States in 1970, meaning next year it turns 50! Don't worry, Shammy, you still look as fresh and lively as the day you were born!
4. The first Shamrock Shake wasn't mint!
That's right — when the Shamrock Shake made its debut it was actually made with lemon/lime sherbet and vanilla ice cream.
5. The Shamrock Shake helped build the first Ronald McDonald House
In 1974, proceeds from Shamrock Shakes helped fund the very first Ronald McDonald House near the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
6. The shake once had its own mascot
In its early days, the Shamrock Shake had its own mascot, Uncle O'Grimacey, a relative of Grimace — it's been awhile since anyone has seen the green fellow, though.
7. Get them while they're hot — or cool!
The Shamrock Shake will be available until St. Patrick's Day on March 17, so act fast or it'll be a whole year before you can feel green — in the very best sense — again.