The truth about McDonald's Oreo Shamrock McFlurry

Mint chocolate lovers, rejoice. McDonald's is literally and figuratively shaking things up to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its iconic Shamrock Shake by introducing a key ingredient that catapults the frosty indulgence into full-blown dessert mode: Oreo cookies. Today reports that, while the old-school favorite will still be offered in-store, its anniversary companion, the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, will combine vanilla soft-serve, Oreo chunks, and what McDonald's cryptically calls "Shamrock flavor" (basically, mint-flavored syrup). 

Though it'll be a limited-time treat, Today notes that a test run in Southern California and Dallas (under the name Oreo Mint McFlurry — sneaky!) hit stores last September, leading to speculation of a nationwide rollout (via Delish). Finally, the time has arrived.

Who invented the Shamrock Shake?

From its inception, McDonald's has proved a fast-food industry innovator — and sometimes, as with the origin of the Shamrock Shake, that spirit trickles down to individual store owners. McDonald's details its storied history: Back in 1967, Hal Rosen, a Connecticut-based operator, decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day by whipping up a minty green concoction. 

Three years later, the Shamrock Shake rolled out nationally and became a smashing success; its sales even helped fund the first-ever Ronald McDonald House, built in Philadelphia. The company points out that the shake has inspired some additional innovations over the years, some more out-there than others: The 1980 Shamrock Sundae simply topped vanilla ice cream with mint syrup, but fast-forward to 2017 and a "limited-edition straw designed by a team of aerospace and robotic engineers" was designed to deliver an exactly 50-50 mix of mint and chocolate in every sip (a move dubbed more gimmick than genuine claim by Engadget).

When will the Shamrock Shake be available?

If you're ready to tap into the luck o' the Irish this season — or if you're just strictly keeping to your 2020 resolution to consume more cookies — McDonald's announced that the bright-green Oreo Shamrock McFlurry will be hitting stores on February 19 (the Shamrock's first nationwide appearance since 2017). 

Early reviews have been positive: Today shares that one YouTuber, Peep This Out Reviews, gave the earlier-tested Oreo Mint McFlurry a thumbs up, calling its presentation "killer" and its flavor "pretty amazing," with "just a hint of mint." Even better for Shamrock Shake die-hards, McDonald's hints that it'll unleash more ways to celebrate its golden anniversary throughout the season. Sadly, no news yet on that scientifically engineered straw making a comeback. Stay tuned.