Earlier on Thursday, I heard one of our editors call out to the newsroom, Shamrock shakes are back!
I was immediately awash in slurpy, sugary memories.
There I am, 7 years old, sitting shotgun in my mum’s Buick sedan. Nearly two decades ago, it was Shamrock Shake season then, too, and we made our dutiful pilgrimage to the McDonald’s drivethru when she got off work.
For someone who wasn’t raised in a religious household, the seasonal beverage — first introduced in 1970 — was one of my first introductions into seasonal ritual. While snow was still on the ground in the Rockford, Illinois, of my childhood, the minty green drink was a harbinger of spring, a promise that the winter would one day depart.
Now I live in New York and make a living by reporting and writing. At my editor’s call, I realised that I hadn’t had a shamrock shake in years.
This had to be corrected.
At lunch, I checked in the nearest McDonald’s to see if they had the shake.
So this afternoon, I ventured out to a Manhattan McDonald’s with my colleague Jacqui Kenyon — who had never had a Shamrock Shake before! — in pursuit of the shake.
We sauntered up to the counter and asked for two shakes. The woman at the register asked her colleagues if they had the Shamrock Shake yet. They did. And I knew because I checked. Jacqui, sensing the sacredness of the moment, offered to pay the $US3.19 for my medium.
We waited with bated breath, relating tales of St. Patrick’s Days of yore.
After a few minutes, like two Irish-American angels, the shakes arrived, complete with whipped cream and cherry on top.
We walked out, jabbed straws into cups.
Then: dairy deliverance.
My inner 7-year-old was satisfied.
“It’s so good!” Jacqui exclaimed, “like a minty Dairy Queen.”
For every spring, the Shamrock Shake is king.