I would like to with everyone, and their cats, a happy St. Patrick’s Day. But unlike many people I’m not going to overstate my connection to the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. My family left Belfast decades before I was born and I only knew one relative, my great-grandmother, who actually grew up in the “old country”.
Nana, as we called her, liked mint. So do I.
For me St. Patrick’s Day is all about Shamrock Shakes at McDonald’s! Or it was, until this year. I used to get them when I was a kid and recall they were green, minty and delicious. I hadn’t had one in over 10 years so I recently decided it was time to go to McDonald’s and order a Shamrock Shake for Paddy’s sake!
I was terribly disappointed.
Firstly, I forgot that McDonald’s milkshakes have the consistency of paste and feel very heavy in the stomach. They are not easy to drink through a straw and it feels like swallowing plastic. Secondly, there was not nearly enough green food colouring or mint flavour in the shake and they didn’t really bother to mix it in well so it just tasted like a regular vanilla milkshake with the occasional hint of toothpastey mint.
They used to taste so much better.
I was determined to ring in the holiday with a proper Shamrock Shake – McDonald’s or no McDonald’s. So, I went to a nearby Dairy Queen and asked if they could make me a green mint-flavour shake. They said they could and they did. It cost a little bit more than the McDonald’s shake but it tasted so much better.
Both the mint flavour, reminiscent of a mint Aero bar, and the colour were mixed thoroughly with the milk and ice cream to create a consistent flavour and colour. Like all shakes at Dairy Queen it was both light and creamy and easily consumed through a straw. They also add a bit of Cool Whip type topping as well as a cherry.