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Bacon, bourbon and shamrocks make for fast-food milkshakes

February 08, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Bacon -- a key ingredient in Jack in the Box's new milkshake
Bacon -- a key ingredient in Jack in the Box's new milkshake (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Fast food’s new love affair with healthful items may be less a marriage than a fling, if the new crop of milkshakes – think bacon, bourbon and shamrocks – is any indication.

Jack in the Box just launched its bacon milkshake, which uses flavored syrup, not real meat, to simulate the porky taste. Add in vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, and according to our friends at the Booster Shots blog, the concoction registers at 1,081 calories for 24 ounces.

That’s slightly more than the calorie count for two – not one, two -- KFC Double Down sandwiches, each of which has two pieces of bacon in addition to two chicken fillets and two slices of cheese.

But, oh, if that were all.

McDonald’s is launching its Shamrock Shake for the first time in all its U.S. locations. Through March 25, customers who want a large, 840-calorie serving of St. Patrick’s Day via straw can pick up the green-colored drink.

In the past, the Shamrock Shake has been more of a limited indulgence, much like the McRib. Websites dedicated to outing the McDonald’s restaurants that were serving the beverage have popped up in past years.

Across the Pacific pond in China, new restaurant Caliburger is serving up vanilla shakes spiked with bourbon. The company is based in Southern California and launched its first branch in Shanghai late last month.

Other fun milkshake facts: Chick-fil-A said it used 2.4 million cans of whipped cream and 124,000 pounds of maraschino cherries last year to top off its Hand-Spun Milkshakes. Zagat’s 2011 Fast Food Survey ranks Dairy Queen as having the best shake, followed by Cold Stone Creamery, Sonic Drive-In, Chick-fil-A and then, in a tie, Ben & Jerry’s and McDonald’s.

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