Happy St. Patrick’s Day! For many, this is merely a holiday to race through before the ushering in of the real star, the Easter Bunny. However, being born and partially raised in Chicago, my childhood memories are peppered with tremendous amounts of fanfare where St. Patty is concerned. From the parades in different nooks and crannies around the city to the dyeing of The Chicago River in my hometown, the day must be embraced and not simply rushed through.
One of my favorite childhood traditions was pleading with my parents to take me to Mcdonald’s for a Shamrock Shake. The Shamrock Shake, initially developed by Hal Rosen, a McDonald’s franchise owner out of Connecticut, debuted in 1967. He took the vanilla milkshake, a staple item on the menu, added a few drops of minty green syrup, and created a novelty item that found instant success when it launched in 1970 in select locations nationwide. I try to have at least one each season, and seeing that most places begin serving them towards the end of February, there usually is enough time to indulge more than once.
The Anniversary Glasses
This tradition was one that I looked forward to welcoming once I started a family. However, neither of my children enjoys mint-flavored fare, so I needed to improvise another version. It is a vanilla milkshake with green food coloring, whip topping, and sprinkles. These few items make for a pretty generic ingredient list, but that’s the beauty of traditions; quite often, the only ingredient that genuinely matters is the time invested.
Here to recreate our annual Shamrock Shake (sans mint) tradition are Rea & Dad, who serve these up in a set of Vintage McDonald’s Bugs Bunny Warner Brothers 50th Anniversary glasses that I scored from a local antique vendor. Remember when McDonald’s sold commemorative glasses? Well, these are from 1990.
So enjoy the day and treat yourself to a Shamrock Shake or maybe even a Shamrock McFlurry. Or, if you don’t prefer mint, test our recipe below. Either choice will make you feel like a kid again.