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McDonald's Fan-Favorite Desserts Return Today! I Finally Tasted Them & Totally Get the Hype

These two treats are creamy, dreamy, and filled with Irish spirit.

McDonald's long-awaited harbingers of spring have finally arrived! The beloved Shamrock Shake and its frosty cousin, the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, are rolling out nationwide today and will be available for a limited time.

The Shamrock Shake, which, of course, honors St. Patrick's Day on March 17, has been a seasonal staple since 1970. The shake has the same base as McDonald's vanilla shake with a mix-in of mint-flavored green syrup. The Shamrock McFlurry, which has only been gracing menus since 2020, is the chain's Oreo McFlurry with the same green syrup swirled throughout. Having never tried either of these treats—and being Irish—I decided it was my duty to give them a taste.

As luck (of the Irish) would have it, both treats dropped into my local McDonald's early. Here's a tip: As soon as McDonald's announces a launch date, start stalking your local store because sometimes items appear early. Here's what I thought of McDonald's annual homage to St. Patrick's Day.

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Shamrock Shake

McDonalds shamrock shake 2023
Photo: Meaghan Cameron

The look: The Shamrock shake has a fresh, appealing shade of green. It doesn't hit you over the head with fake color. The whipped cream was still perched at the top, due to a nice domed lid. The see-through cup showed a well-mixed shake with a few appealing white swirls.

The taste: The flavor was a pleasant vanilla with only a subtle hint of mint. Honestly, the green and mint seem to have more to do with the marketing than the flavor. It's not overly sweet and I'm surprised by the subtleness of the mint. The only I noticed it was in the coolness that slid down my throat after I took a sip. The cooling action of the mint makes the vanilla more vanilla. The shake is amazingly thick. You can pick up the straw and suck it out from the bottom.

Shamrock McFlurry

Shamrock mcflurry 2023
Meaghan Cameron

The look: The McFlurry doesn't disappoint with the thickness, the spoon is standing straight up without any help. The green drizzle on top is definitely more garish than the shake, but the pieces of Oreo look varied and plentiful.

The taste: The first bite is all about the cookies. The Oreos stay crunchy and there is a perfect mix of bigger pieces and smaller bits. The big pieces are too big however and melt away after one crunch, mingling with the super creamy ice cream. Again, I taste a lot of vanilla and only a hint of mint, the chocolate cookies overpower the subtle mint but that's okay. The luscious thickness reminds me that McDonald's has really good ice cream and I really should get it more often.


Mcdonalds shamrock shake mcflurry 2023
Meaghan Cameron / Eat This, Not That!

I definitely taste more mint in the Shamrock Shake, but if you want the fun of a little green to celebrate the big day, get a Shamrock McFlurry without the worry that it's going to taste like toothpaste-flavored ice cream and Oreos. On any other day though, I'd probably just get a regular old Oreo McFlurry and maybe toss in some fudge too,

P.S. McDonald's addresses frequent complaints about the ice cream machine being down on its Facebook page with this message: "Our shake and soft-serve ice cream machines undergo heat treatment cycles every 24 hrs—they're disassembled, sanitized and cleaned every 14 days. So if you can't get one just keep trying."

Meaghan Cameron
Meaghan Cameron is Deputy Editor of Restaurants at Eat This, Not That! Read more about Meaghan
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