Full disclosure: I had never had a Shamrock Shake before writing this article. When the idea was pitched to write an opinion on the return of the infamous Kermit-green slurpable McDonald’s creation, I said “ew” loud enough to turn some heads. Which meant I had quite the opinion. It didn’t seem fair to write an opinion piece about the Shamrock Shake without trying one, so this week I made the pilgrimage to the Northfield McDonald’s to sample their yearly tribute to leprechauns everywhere.
At first, I was tantalized. Seeing the can of Reddi Whip injecting mountains of whipped cream into the domed lid of the cup, I thought, “this could be good!” The praise that I had heard for the Shamrock Shake was overwhelmingly positive, even spanning across generations. My roommate’s mom, for example, loves the Shamrock Shake so much that she purchases multiple at a time and keeps them in the freezer after they are no longer in stores. I had heard tales of Oles driving upwards of forty minutes to the nearest 24-hour McDonalds after the Northfield location had shut their doors, just to scratch the itch that only a Shamrock Shake can.
Finally, this heralded beverage was in my grasp. The cup was dense and heavy, the straw was wide, and I was ready to take my first creamy sip. As soon as the shake hit my tongue, I knew my instincts had been right all along. Shockingly sweet, artificially minty, all swirled together with the flavor of chemicals that were probably banned everywhere outside of the U.S. Taking another sip, a vision appeared in my head: a secret agreement between McDonald’s and the American Dental Association to brainwash consumers into enjoying the act of brushing their teeth. It made perfect sense! With the fleeting permanence of the Shamrock Shake, Americans everywhere had to get that minty hit in any way they could. Enter, mint toothpaste. If you are someone who typically enjoys a Shamrock Shake, I lay no blame at your feet. It’s nostalgic, there’s novelty in its impermanence, and the concept of drinking something green is always a delight for your five senses. But srtip away the warm fuzzies of nostalgia, and you’d probably get a better taste brushing your teeth.
Claire Boldt is from
Her major is political science.
Shamrock Shakes: An American Classic. One of the modern world’s greatest inventions right after bidets, sliced bread, and the panini press. Finally, it’s that blessed time of year again when we can scratch our Shamrock Shake itch that’s left behind every time it is removed from the McDonalds menu.
The Shake’s greatness is misunderstood. It is aesthetically pleasing, delicious, and gives us what other shakes simply cannot — style. The Shamrock shake is at the top of the Dance Moms pyramid of shakes. It tantalizes us with its greatness for only a limited time every year, and I can find it in basically any city in the U.S. Thanks capitalism, I owe you one for that.
My preferred way of telling time is through the availability of the Shamrock Shake. I don’t have seasonal depression in the winter; I have seasonal depression when the Shamrock shake is not around. Do we push to have her available all year round because we miss her so dearly? Or is her limited availability what makes her so delicious?
All I know is that while she’s here, I must cherish her. Whatever problems you may have, a Shamrock shake can fix them. Fail an exam? Shamrock shake. Break up with your significant other? Cry into your Shamrock shake. Contract Covid? You’ll still be able to taste the Shamrock shake because that is how amazing it is. We need more Shamrock shakes in our lives. It’s time to push for the greatest shake in the world to be available all year round.
Samantha Asplund is from
St. Cloud, Minn.
Her major is social work.