This Is The Exact Date McDonald's Shamrock Shake Returns In 2022

In the months right after the holidays — the peak of festivities, excitement, and delicious seasonal treats sprinkled with wintery spices — time seems to go by painstakingly slow. Starbucks goes back to its standard coffees, Costco and Aldi are devoid of pumpkin pies and peppermint candies, and there just doesn't seem to be as much excitement in terms of food and drink. That is, until February comes around and McDonald's gives fans a treat to look forward to: the Shamrock Shake.

Since March 1970, McDonald's has been offering this limited-edition seasonal shake regularly, per Vox. Released roughly a month prior to St. Patrick's Day, the Shamrock Shake was on a brief hiatus in the 1990s but has since made its way onto the fast food chain's menu each February without fail. In the 1970s, the Shamrock Shake was be a blend of vanilla ice cream dyed with green color and a lemon-and-lime-flavored sorbet (per Chowhound). But in 1983, McDonald's added mint to the shake, and the vanilla-y, minty Shamrock Shake that we know today came to be.

In 2021, McDonald's rolled out its Shamrock Shake about a month before St. Patrick's Day, per Elite Daily. As for the limited-edition green shake's 2022 return, it's following a similar timeline.

The Shamrock Shake returns to the U.S. on Feb. 21

Over the last few years, McDonald's has brought back the Shamrock Shake during the second half of February. That's true this year, too: The Shamrock Shake will return to participating U.S. locations on February 21, according to QSR.

Because 2020 marked the Shamrock Shake's 50th anniversary in the United States, the treat was also accompanied by an Oreo Shamrock McFlurry — the same mix of vanilla soft serve, Shamrock Shake syrup, and whipped cream, but with Oreo cookies. Per CNN, the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry is returning in 2022 as well. Previously, McDonald's also rolled out a Chocolate Shamrock Shake with a special straw designed to give a balanced taste of mint and chocolate in each sip, though that's not returning this year. 

In 2021, fans were able to order the minty shake starting February 15, per Elite Daily. The 2022 release date isn't quite that early — but fans may agree the green shake is worth the wait.

The Shamrock Shake is already back at McDonald's Ireland

Before confirming the Shamrock Shake's 2022 U.S. release date, McDonald's confirmed a return date for the green-hued shake in Ireland. According to The Sun, the Shamrock Shake has been available for purchase at McDonald's outlets across Ireland since February 2. The minty treat will be available in Ireland through St. Patrick's Day, March 17. 

There's more good news for Irish McDonald's customers, too — McDonald's Ireland also launched the Chicken Big Mac on February 2, per The Sun. (While the Chicken Big Mac isn't on the U.S. menu, endeavoring customers may be able to hack the McDonald's item with a bit of creativity.)

U.S.-based fans have to wait a little longer for the return of the Shamrock Shake. But it's only fair that Ireland be the first to get its hands on this St. Patrick's Day-inspired treat, right? At the very least, fans can take comfort in knowing the beloved menu item isn't going anywhere.

The Shamrock Shake is full of sugar

McDonald's Shamrock Shake is only back for a limited time each year, so it may seem obvious to make the most of it. However, a look at the green shake's sugar and calorie content may make you think otherwise. Per the McDonald's website, the Shamrock Shake is made with reduced-fat vanilla ice cream, whipped light cream, and Shamrock Shake Syrup.

Now, you may think that syrup is a simple, green-colored mint flavoring, but that's not the case. The syrup contains Yellow 5 and Blue 1, which are both artificial food colors. Plus, high-fructose corn syrup is the first ingredient in the Shamrock Shake Syrup. Combine that with the preservatives and sugar in the ice cream and whipped cream, and you have a shake that's best enjoyed as an occasional drink, per Eat This, Not That!.

Overall, a small Shamrock Shake has 460 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 74 grams of carbs. A small shake also packs 63 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent of 16 sugar packets.

You can make the Shamrock Shake at home

While fans wait for the Shamrock Shake's return, Mashed has a copycat Shamrock Shake recipe to recreate the treat at home. While the McDonald's shake only has three ingredients, you're going to need a few more things to make the shake at home: vanilla ice cream and milk, of course, but also maple syrup, mint extract, green food coloring gel, and green food coloring liquid. Blend it all together, and you have yourself a Shamrock Shake!

To make the shake a touch healthier, you can always leave out the food coloring and leave the shake white in color — you'll still have the minty taste, after all. You can also swap the milk and ice cream with non-dairy alternatives, although doing so will affect the consistency of the drink. Once you've customized the shake to suit your needs, you can serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and a glazed cherry on top.