sham shake

I’m a little sad it’s been about two years since I last had McDonald’s famed Shamrock Shake — the frothy, minty treat sold throughout March to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The leprechaun libation helps brighten up this transitional month both literally — it’s so stunningly green you need shamrock-shaped shades — and figuratively, as the arrival of the shake means spring is just around the corner.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard the allure of the Shamrock Shake has dwindled a bit in recent years with the advent of the fast-food chain’s McCafe; the seasonal drink now comes in a fancy, café-like cup, topped with whipped cream and a cherry. That’s just… wrong. And not surprisingly, they’ve upped the price.

As is usually the case with my culinary replicas, price and caloric intake motivated my sham Shamrock Shake. I used lighter ice cream, 1-percent milk and no additional sugar. I did, however, get a little away from the traditional SS by adding a few crushed up Thin Mints for textural and taste variation.

Makes one serving:
♦1 c. milk (1% — whole for a thicker shake)
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 to 1-1/2 tbs. crème de menthe syrup (depending on mint preference)
♦2 drops green food coloring

Optional: Thin Mint cookie crumbs

Dump all ingredients into a blender. Pulverize into minty perfection.

Total time? 5 minutes.
Cost? $2 ice cream, $2 milk, $2.50 crème de menthe syrup (– enough to make multiple shakes)
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. I like my milkshakes pretty thin (unlike the need-a-spoon consistency of McDonald’s), but this could have used a tiny bit more thickening. A certain “milkshake expert” I asked recommended Carnation Instant Breakfast powder to shape it up a bit (and to add a little bit of nutritional value to any shake). Either way, this shake was so good, I drank the entire glass in less than three minutes…and seven minutes later, I was doubled over with a stomach ache. Totally worth it.


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