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Over 60 million shamrock shakes have been sold since McDonald’s first introduced them almost 50 years ago. Every February, when this seasonal St. Patrick’s Day treat makes its annual return, fans line up like they’re reuniting with their long-distance lovers for a month-long tryst. If you’re one of the millions of people who can’t shake your obsession with this minty milkshake, you’re in luck, because you can easily make shamrock shakes at home, year round.

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1. What is a shamrock shake, anyway?

McDonald’s mythical March milkshake is made with just four basic ingredients: vanilla soft serve ice cream, green “shamrock shake syrup”—which contains dyes and artificial flavors, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry.

The shake is only available at McDonald's from February through the day after St. Patrick’s Day, March 18th, each year. Once it’s gone, it really is gone—“shamrock shake syrup” is only ordered once a year for the spring season.

Rimma_Bondarenko / Getty Images
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