Green Day: Get festive for St. Patrick’s

Caroline Hohner, Reporter

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so get your green on and try some unique shamrock-colored drinks this March

Matcha latte from True North

For those who need both luck and a kick of caffeine: try True North’s matcha latte.

The latte is the most aesthetically pleasing of the three drinks: pale green and topped with a cute foam heart. While I was originally hesitant to try this drink, it being an unusual color for a latte and me being unfamiliar with the taste of matcha, I was surprised to find myself enjoying it.

A sip of this latte is warm, but not scalding. The drink tastes sweet and earthy, and is made with lots of foam, which slightly overpowers the unique matcha taste. The matcha powder, which built up along the edges of my drink, gave the drink an unpleasant grainy aftertaste, but the overall texture was nice and smooth.

For those avoiding dairy, the drink can be customized to be made with soy or almond milk instead of whole.

Unlike the Real Good Juice Co. smoothie and McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, the matcha latte sat light in my stomach, leaving me warm and content rather than cold and queasy.

I would recommend getting this drink “for here,” as True North has plenty of tables to study at and serves each of its lattes in cozy, blue ceramic mugs, which complement the already colorful matcha latte. If you don’t have the time to sit down, True North’s quick service and digital payment option make this drink a quick “to-go” option as well. With True North just blocks away from U-High, I recommend taking the short walk over to try this shamrock-toned tea.

Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s

For the past 50 years, the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake has been a St. Patrick’s day cult classic. The seasonal shake’s continued popularity is no surprise; the drink is sweet enough to satisfy even the most raging sweet tooth, with the perfect creamy consistency that doesn’t need to be forced up through a straw, and with its shocking green color and cool snap of mint, more exciting than a chocolate or vanilla milkshake.

Anyone interested in a Shamrock Shake should get it while they can; after March 24 you won’t see them again until next year. Not that these shakes are difficult to get.  The shamrock shake is the cheapest of the three green drinks, and easy to access given McDonald’s almost scary high distribution of stores.

Toppings are key to a good milkshake, and while I received a hearty dollop of whipped cream on my shake, my inner child was disappointed by the lack of the cherry that has colored the Shamrock Shakes of years past. Though not quite as heavy as the green smoothie, the shamrock shake is dense enough to leave you feeling a bit queasy. In my opinion, that icky feeling is completely worth the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing off the whipped cream left at the bottom of the cup. I would recommend this shake alongside some of McDonald’s saltier foods to create a balance of flavors, and enjoyed with some festive friends.

Kal E. Kopowski smoothie from Real Good Juice Co.

Real Good Juice Co.’s “Kal E. Kopowski” smoothie proves that looks can be deceiving. This clover green drink gets its color from kale (a food which I typically avoid like the plague), but you’d never know it from the taste, which is as sweet and nutty as a banana-nut milkshake. The smoothie shares the consistency of a milkshake as well, due to the additions of banana and almond butter.

The “Kal E. Kopowski” smoothie comes in a simple plastic cup donned with a minimalist logo and an environmentally friendly paper straw consistent with the juice store’s hip and modern vibes. While many locations of Real Good Juice Co. are located inside grocery stores, others are cozy, well-lit spaces to study with friends, with comfy seating and even some fun card games to play like the late-night classic “Cards Against Humanity.”

While a smoothie packed with superfoods sounded invigorating, I found that the reality of this smoothie is a drink so dense it fills you up before you finish even half of it. While I was slowly sipping on my smoothie, I was also disappointed to find that the drink, which had started off thick and frothy, begun to melt and now left my mouth feeling a bit like I had just drank chalk. Given its great taste and original consistency, I would only recommend this smoothie to people with the appetite to finish it, and finish it quickly before it melts.