From Special Kansas City Irish Fest Special Bovine Beverage Correspondent Martha Kiley:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- McDonald's extreme-green shamrock shake is going nationwide for the first time, the fast food franchise revealed on Wednesday.
The leprechaun-colored shake is currently available at every one of McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500) 14,000 U.S. restaurants, according to company spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling.
The shamrock shake itself isn't new. It's been offered by McDonald's restaurants at or around St. Patrick's Day since 1970. But in the past, only certain restaurants offered the familiar green shake.
In its 42 years of existence, the shamrock shake has developed what McDonald's refers to as a "cult-like" following among certain aficionados who prize its vivid-green hue.
So where does the shamrock shake gets its color? It's basically a vanilla shake with mint flavor, said Yingling, and it gets the green hue from the syrup.
Like many of McDonald's products, the shamrock shake once had its own mascot, named Uncle O'Grimacey, who appeared in commercials while singing a jaunty jingle about the shake.
"Leprechaun colored"? As Martha points out "Always thought they were the same shade of your average Irish person." And as for Uncle O'Grimacey...well, count your blessings that they retired this particular mascot.