Byrne Dairy Mint Milk- It’s Magically Delicious
Updated: Mar 18, 2022
The last time I had green milk in my refrigerator, I was living in my first apartment in Garfield New Jersey. A half-gallon of 2 percent, hidden behind a forgotten bag of General Tso chicken, had become a chemistry experiment. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the milk that I am blogging about today is intentionally green and comes from the mammary glands of cows that have spent years grazing on pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and of course, green clovers.
Maybe some of that wasn't 100% the truth but believe me when I tell you, green mint milk is a real thing as everyone living in Central New York can attest. Byrne Dairy, a fourth-generation milk distributor has been selling this limited run St Patty’s inspired treat since 1976. The verdant colored dairy hits Byrne's convenience stores in late February and runs through the last stocking on March 17th. Originally provided to area school kids in half pint cartons, mint milk is now sold exclusively in half gallon glass bottles. Not only does this give you pangs of “milk man” nostalgia, but it also keeps the milk ice cold and according to Byrne Dairy’s video, it also stays fresher than plastic bottles. Current estimates suggest that Byrne sells 14,000 gallons of green milk during the short season, kinda crazy considering the average cow can only produce about six or seven gallons a day.
It tastes a lot like the ice cream soup at the bottom of a bowl of mint chip, just before you are done eating it. You know that lovely little bit of minty gazpacho that you slurp right from the bowl. Despite the shockingly green color, the mint taste is subtle and natural. And thanks to a reader, I was turned on to the delightful combination of mixing half a glass of mint milk, with half a glass of Byrne’s chocolate for a delectable thin mint in a glass.
Thanks Bill- you were right!
Shamrock Shakes and Shenanigans
If mint milk sounds vaguely familiar to you, it may be thinking of McDonald’s seasonal Shamrock Shake which was invented in 1967 though introduced to the masses in 1970, 6 years before Byrne Dairy. The original formula was a lemon-lime flavored vanilla milkshake. It wasn’t until 1980 that the “mint” flavor was added, so technically Byrne really does have the bragging rights. I am in no way "shitting" on the “Golden Arches” when I say that their almost toothpaste-y mint flavor is much more over the top than the aforementioned mint milk. That said, it’s a given that I will suck down at least one of the 460 calorie small neon green shakes every St Patty's Day season. Perhaps a little green with envy, Dunkin Donuts got into the spirit this year introducing their own Shamrock Macchiato- watch your back Pumpkin Spice, I see a new trend starting.
Mark Your Calendars
If you are not already living in Central New York or are not as crazy as I am to take a 400-mile car ride to try this milk in person, chances are it's too late. This is a great tradition that will return next year and while I might not suggest a road trip to the Empire State just for this, it’s a great after dinner drink following a day of devouring the other Central New York indigenous foods like Syracuse’s salt potatoes, Binghamton’s spiedies and Rochester’s garbage plate, not to mention Utica’s amazing catalog of foodigenous.
You can see all of the Byrne's Central New York store locations on their website.
Happy St Patrick's Day ☘️ and Happy Birthday Brody Boy 😻