St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on March 17th every year. It originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Over time it has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, with festivities like parades, dances, and parties held worldwide. Two iconic symbols associated with the holiday are the color green and the shamrock. As a result, many businesses roll out specialty green food and drink items to celebrate the occasion. Green shakes and smoothies are a popular offering, allowing customers to quite literally drink in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Let’s explore some of the most likely places you can find green shakes this March 17th.
Fast Food Restaurants
Several major fast food chains debut limited-edition green shakes for St. Patrick’s Day. McDonald’s is renowned for their Shamrock Shake, a creamy minty green concoction first introduced in 1970. Burger King also whips up a Oreo Shamrock Shake. Sonic Drive-In crafts a Green River Limeade Shake. Dairy Queen’s Mint Oreo Blizzard transforms into a bright green treat with their special St. Patrick’s Day Blarney Stone Blender. Arby’s mixes vanilla soft serve with mint syrup to concoct their Shamrock Shake. Check your nearest locations of these chains to get your hands on their specialty shakes this St. Paddy’s Day.
Skip the black coffee and opt for something more festive at your local cafe on March 17th. Starbucks brings back their fan favorite Green Tea Frappuccino, blended with matcha green tea and vanilla syrup. Caribou Coffee showcases their Irish Creme Cold Press in honor of the holiday. Regional chains like Dunkin’ Donuts and Tim Hortons also get in on the action with their Coolatta Shamrock Shake and Shamrock French Vanilla hot and iced beverages. Smaller independent coffee shops may even offer unique green shake specials for St. Patrick’s Day, so keep an eye out when you visit.
Ice Cream Shops
What better way to celebrate than by cooling down with a vibrant green ice cream shake? Baskin Robbins dishes out their popular Mint Chocolate Chip Shake, made with mint ice cream and chocolate syrup. Cold Stone Creamery lets you customize your own creation by blending ice cream with mix-ins like Oreo cookies, chocolate chips, or peppermint candy. Local ice cream parlors may feature specialty shakes as well, like pistachio, mint chip, or matcha. Stop by your neighborhood ice creamery and ask what kinds of green treats they have whipped up for St. Patrick’s Day.
Juice Bars and Smoothie Shops
In the mood for something healthier? Many juice bars and smoothie shops concoct their own versions of green shakes ideal for the holiday. Jamba Juice blends up a Lucky Leprechaun smoothie with yogurt, mango, passionfruit, and matcha tea. Tropical Smoothie Cafe crafts a Shamrock smoothie with strawberries, banana, honey and spinach. Planet Smoothie’s Shamrock smoothie contains pineapple, oranges, whey protein, flax seed, and matcha powder. Local smoothie cafes may also have some specialty selections worth trying. Visit your favorite spot and see what kinds of green smoothies or shakes they recommend to feel festive this St. Patrick’s Day.
Grocery Stores and Chains
If dining out isn’t convenient, many grocery stores sell pre-made green shakes and smoothies to enjoy at home. Retailers like Whole Foods, Safeway, Kroger, Ralphs, and Trader Joe’s carry fresh smoothies in a variety of green flavors like matcha, spinach, kale, avocado, green tea, and more. Convenience store chains like 7-Eleven get into the spirit with their own signature green shakes. You can even find dairy-free and vegan versions made with coconut, almond, or oat milk. Check the grab-and-go refrigerated section at your local market for plenty of bottled choices to celebrate with.
DIY Shamrock Shakes
Part of the fun of St. Patrick’s Day is channeling your inner leprechaun and getting creative in the kitchen. Whipping up your own homemade green shake is easy with just a blender and a few simple ingredients. Here are some ideas to try:
Mint Chocolate Protein Shake
Blend cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, milk of choice, spinach, avocado, mint extract, and ice. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Matcha Green Tea Smoothie
Mix milk, Greek yogurt, banana, ice, honey, vanilla extract, and matcha powder. Garnish with mint leaves.
Green Monster Shake
Puree kale, mango, pineapple, ginger, lime juice, honey, and ice. Top with chia seeds.
Green Tea Shake
Combine brewed green tea, milk, honey, vanilla yogurt, and ice. Top with pistachios.
Avocado Mint Smoothie
Blend avocado, milk, mint, lime, honey, spinach, ice, and protein powder if desired. Garnish with cacao nibs.
Get creative and come up with your own signature green shake concoction to get in the St. Patrick’s Day state of mind. Your friends and family will be impressed.
Places to Avoid
While many restaurants and chains hop on the green shake bandwagon for St. Patrick’s Day, not all do. Here are some spots that tend to avoid gimmicky menu items during holidays:
- Upscale restaurants
- Fine dining establishments
- Seafood restaurants
- Authentic Irish pubs and bars
- Mom and pop diners
- Some salad and health food chains
Don’t expect to find green shakes at these types of eateries that tend to avoid over-the-top holiday theming. Your best bets are major chains, coffee shops, juice bars, and ice cream parlors that fully lean into the St. Patrick’s Day fun.
When to Find Green Shakes
Green shakes for St. Patrick’s Day usually appear about 2-3 weeks ahead of the actual holiday, depending on the business. Many locations make them available for the full month of March to extend the seasonal fun. However, availability is often limited and the most in-demand green shakes may sell out quickly close to the holiday. To get your hands on one, consider:
- Planning ahead and going early in the season
- Opting for less popular flavors
- Calling ahead to check availability
- Going at off-peak hours
- Downloading restaurant apps for mobile ordering
Don’t wait until March 17th itself or you might miss out. Satisfy your shake craving early for your best chance at sipping a specialty green treat.
Bringing Your Own Cups and Containers
As a bonus tip, consider bringing your own reusable cup or mason jar for a greener and more Irish experience. Many chains like Starbucks allow you to bring your own containers, so whip out that festive Irish mug or emerald mason jar and fill it with your shamrock shake. You’ll cut down on waste while also showing extra holiday spirit through your drinkware.
When St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, you know you can count on major fast food chains, coffee shops, juice bars, ice cream parlors, and grocery stores to deliver seasonal green shakes and smoothies. Celebrate Irish heritage by seeking out these specialty beverages dressed up in festive emerald hues to fully embrace the spirit of the holiday. Just be sure to act early, as the most popular flavors tend to sell out quickly near March 17th. With some preparation and planning, you can easily get your hands on St. Patrick’s Day green shakes to honor Ireland’s patron saint in the most delicious way possible.