These boozy shamrock shakes are the perfect cocktail to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Inspired by the McDonald’s treat, these green vanilla-mint milkshakes are spiked with crème de menthe and Irish cream liqueur for a grownup version.
Disclaimer: This recipe is intended for adults over 21 or of legal drinking age. It is expected that if you try the alcoholic recipes on this website, you do so responsibly.
McDonald’s only offers their shamrock shakes in March, but lucky for you, you can make these year-round. They're made with vanilla ice cream and spiked with creme de menthe for its green color and minty flavor. I've also added Irish cream liqueur to the mix to make it more Irish!
I love making Boozy Shamrock Shakes for a St. Patrick’s Day party. If you’re throwing a brunch get-together or a Super Bowl party, try my Bloody Mary recipe.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Shamrock Shakes get their name from their green color but adding Irish cream to the mix makes it more of an Irish beverage. Perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!
- It takes less than 5 minutes to make! Just pour all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. So simple and easy.
- This boozy shamrock shake recipe is super flexible. I’ve included lots of suggestions for substitutions and how to adjust the recipe to your liking, including a non-alcoholic option.
Here's what you'll need to make this boozy shamrock shake recipe:
- Crème de menthe – this mint liqueur comes in clear and green, so be sure to choose a green one to give this drink its signature green hue! It actually looks almost black in the bottle, it's hard to tell. You can also use a clear mint liqueur, such as peppermint schnapps or Dr. McGillicuddy's Mentholmint, and add green food coloring.
- Vanilla ice cream – I’m partial to vanilla bean or French vanilla, but you can use any type of ice cream.
- Irish cream liqueur – a creamy liqueur made with cream and Irish whiskey. Most people think of Bailey’s, but you can use any brand. You can even make your own Irish cream!
- Milk - I recommend 2% or whole for the creamiest milkshakes, but you can use any type of milk, even non-dairy milk like oat or almond milk.
- Whipped cream, green sprinkles, and maraschino cherries (all totally optional toppings). You could even use cute St. Patrick's Day sprinkles. Or if you want to go crazy, add hot fudge and crushed chocolate mint cookies like thin mints or mint Oreos!
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Boozy Shamrock Shakes
It's really just one step, SO easy! Here's how to make this St. Patrick's Day treat:
Add all ingredients to the blender: ice, ice cream, Irish cream, creme de menthe, and milk.
Then, blend until smooth. Depending on the strength of your blender, this should take about 30 seconds on high speed.
If the milkshake is too thin or thick for your liking, you can easily adjust the consistency. To make it thicker, add more ice cream and/or ice. To make it thinner, add more milk. Or to make it mintier, add more creme de menthe.
Pour the milkshakes into glasses, top them with whipped cream, and serve immediately, while they're still cold. I love using these cute retro milkshake glasses, but you can use any type of glass or cup. Use disposable cups with straws for easy cleanup after a St. Patrick's Day party.
This shamrock shake recipe makes enough for 2 tall glasses (16-20 ounces) or 4 short drink glasses, like rocks glasses (8-12 ounces). But you can easily double or triple the recipe and make multiple batches to serve a crowd!
Taste the milkshakes using a clean "tasting spoon" before pouring them into glasses. That way, you can make sure the flavors and consistency are right, or if not, easily adjust them to your liking.
Substitutions & Variations
If you don't have certain ingredients (or want to leave out certain ingredients, like alcohol) here are some easy swaps you can make:
- Ice cream: you can use mint ice cream instead of vanilla if you prefer. Then you won’t need to add green crème de menthe (as long as the ice cream is green). Since plain mint ice cream is hard to find, you could also use mint chocolate chip or mint oreo ice cream for a "grasshopper" chocolate-mint milkshake.
- Crème de menthe: substitute any mint-flavored alcohol and add green food coloring. Or leave it out and use mint extract + vanilla ice cream (or mint ice cream) for non-alcoholic options.
- Irish cream: leave it out or replace it with Irish whiskey or Irish cream-flavored syrup (non-alcoholic).
You can also alter the recipe by adding fun garnishes! This is a fun idea especially if you're serving at a party or an event. Here are some ideas:
- Hot fudge
- Fresh mint
- Crushed cookies - i.e. thin mints, Oreos, or mint Oreos
- Chocolate-rimmed glasses: coat the rim of the serving glasses with hot fudge or chocolate frosting, then roll in crushed cookies, sprinkles, or any topping you choose. Note: if you rim the glasses, do this before filling the glass and let it dry for about 10 minutes before adding the liquid milkshake.
All you really need for this simple drink recipe is a blender. I'm obsessed with my Vitamix high-power blender. It's definitely a splurge, but I bought mine used about 5 years ago, it's so durable and it works SO well! Personally, I think it's worth it if it's something you'll use fairly often.
Besides the blender, here are some other tools you might find useful for this recipe:
- Ice cream scoop – this is my favorite ice cream scoop. It actually helps melt the ice cream so you can scoop it right from the freezer! Or you can also use a cookie scoop or any large spoon.
- Jigger – the best tool to accurately measure shots of alcohol. The larger side measures 2 ounces and the smaller side measures 1 ounce, with marked lines inside for ½ and ¾ ounces.
- Milkshake glasses - for a fun presentation! Use green straws too to match the shamrock shakes.
Irish cream is a sweet cream liqueur made from Irish whisky and cream, with flavors of vanilla and a hint of chocolate. It has a relatively low alcohol level of about 15-17% and is used in cocktails like white Russians, mudslides, Irish coffee, or dessert martinis.
Creme de menthe is used in after-dinner cocktails like a Stinger (brandy + creme de menthe) or an Amaretto Stinger (amaretto, an almond-flavored liqueur, + creme de menthe). An Irish Stinger uses Irish cream instead of brandy!
You can also use it to make Grasshoppers, another minty dessert cocktail. The Grasshopper is made by combining creme de menthe with white creme de cacao and cream or milk.
Boozy Shamrock Shakes
These vanilla-mint milkshakes are spiked with creme de menthe and Irish cream liqueur for a yummy and festive St. Patrick's Day treat!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 5 cups 1x
- Category: dessert, drink, quick & easy
- Method: no cook, blender
- Cuisine: Irish American
- 2 ¼ cups vanilla ice cream (packed)
- ⅓ cup 2% milk or sub. any milk
- 3 ounces green creme de menthe liqueur
- 3 ounces Irish cream liqueur, i.e. Bailey's
- 2 cups of ice
- Optional toppings: whipped cream, maraschino cherries, sprinkles, and hot fudge
- Add all ingredients to a blender: ice cream, milk, creme de menthe, Irish cream, and ice. Blend on high speed until smooth (about 30 seconds).
- Pour the milkshakes into glasses and top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry if using. Serve immediately.
- Adjust the consistency by adding more milk (to make it thinner) or more ice cream (to make it thicker).
- This recipe makes enough for 2 large milkshakes (20 ounces each) or 4 smaller milkshakes (10 ounces each).
Keywords: boozy shamrock shake recipe, alcoholic shamrock shake