Shamrock Shake Review: Worth the Hype or an Average Mint Shake


Amanda Argall, Student of Journalism

The spring season is coming to a close, and with that, the production of McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes. Many locations concluded their limited-time offer of the shake sometime in April, leaving Shamrock-Shake enthusiasts everywhere in despair and most likely experiencing withdrawals. This begs the question: Can one’s Shamrock Shake craving be satisfied by another establishment’s mint shake? Or, is the Shamrock Shake simply incomparable.

According to, “The Shamrock Shake was born in 1970 and was originally a lemon-lime sherbet shake; but then the classic shake got a makeover in 1983 when mint flavoring was added and sherbet was removed.”

Thus the creation of the Shamrock Shake people know and love today.

I discovered two restaurants in Neenah that make mint shakes all year long: Tom’s Drive-In and Culver’s.

I decided to evaluate each of the mint shakes based upon their mint-to-vanilla ratio, creaminess of ice cream, appearance, and cost (tax included).

First, I tried McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. It is $2.10 for the smallest size, the lowest price. The shake was given in a transparent cup, displaying its subtle neon-green color and swirl of whipped cream on top. The mint-to-vanilla ratio was quite even, which resulted in a perfect harmony of flavor. The ice cream itself was also smooth and creamy and made for a delectable shake.

The “cool mint shake” offered at Tom’s Drive-In was next.

Because Tom’s is known as, “A tasty Wisconsin favorite since 1960,” according to, I was optimistic they could create a mint shake just as good as the Shamrock Shake.

It costs $3.14 for a small; however, it is slightly larger than McDonald’s. The shake was given in a regular white paper cup with the Tom’s logo on it. After uncovering the shake, I could see its color was similar to that of a Shamrock Shake, but slightly more green.

The ice cream in the shake was notably less creamy than the Shamrock Shake. It was difficult to taste any mint flavor in the shake as well; therefore, the vanilla certainly overpowered the mint-to-vanilla ratio.

“This basically tasted like a vanilla shake. I don’t taste much mint,” said Sophia Shelley, senior at NHS and Shamrock Shake enthusiast.

Overall, I do not believe it would satisfy one’s craving for a Shamrock Shake.

Lastly, I gave the mint shake at Culver’s a shot. The shake is $3.45 for a small but is a larger serving than both McDonald’s and Tom’s. describes the shake as, “Fresh vanilla frozen custard hand blended with milk and mint flavoring.”

Like McDonald’s, the shake was held in a transparent cup which revealed its vibrant-mint color. Because of the shake being composed of Culver’s famous custard, it was — of course — smooth and creamy.

The mint-to-vanilla ratio, however,  was a bit too mint-dominant for my liking. With less mint flavoring, this shake could potentially compare with a Shamrock Shake. Unfortunately, I still do not believe it suffices.

While I certainly have not tasted every mint shake on the market, I believe it is safe to assume that McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes are not easily replicated. Finding an alternative for one is not as simple as heading to the next fast-food chain and ordering a mint-flavored shake. There is likely a mint-flavored shake out there that can compete with it; however, it is clear that a Shamrock Shake has something special about it that sets it apart from the average.