Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Copycat McDonald's Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea fans, here is a great recipe that is sure to hit the spot on a hot summer day. According to my girls and their friends, it tastes just like McDonald's Sweet Tea! Sweet, smooth and refreshing. To me, it tastes like summer in a glass.


A few years ago, I stumbled onto Allrecipes.com, looking for a way to make iced tea smooth and less bitter. Who knew all it took was a PINCH OF BAKING SODA! Don't be scared of the baking soda (I was), you'll be telling everyone this tip. The baking soda also helps to keep the tea clear. So long bitter, cloudy tea.   



Today's recipe is being shared by request from my youngest daughter's friend - she loves my sweet tea and recently moved. I told her I would post the recipe so she could make it in her new home. As promised, here it is  ...




Copycat McDonald's Sweet Tea

Print Recipe  
Ingredients (Makes 4 quarts = 1 gallon)
  • 3 Family Size Lipton iced tea bags  
  • pinch of baking soda (optional) 
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 12 cups cold water
  • *1 1/2 cups sugar (you can use less)
Directions
Drop a pinch of baking soda in the bottom of a heat-proof, one gallon pitcher (plastic pitchers are best when working with boiling water). In a small sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags and allow to brew for 15 minutes, dunking tea bags up and down a few times while brewing.
Remove tea bags, pressing out excess tea with a spoon. Transfer hot tea to pitcher, add sugar, stir and allow to dissolve completely. Add 12 cups cold water and stir. Store in fridge until chilled. Serve over ice. Enjoy!   

Tips
  • Plastic pitchers work best - NEVER pour boiling water in glass pitcher that is not heat-proof, it may shatter.  
  • *Adjust sugar amount to desired taste. My girls like a little more sugar, but I always use less. 
  • Try different flavored tea bags, like peach. YUM!
  • If you like stronger tea, add an additional tea bag(s).
Thanks for stopping by!
Cheers!

23 comments:

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

Yum! Our maccas does not sell sweet tea though, ripped off!

Heather @ The Beating Hearth said...

What a great tip about the baking soda. who would thought.

Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Yummmm....you are not helping me overcome my iced tea addiction lady!

Liz Carter said...

How many regular size tea bags would you use? Maybe 7 or 8?

Mary N said...

Hi Liz! Yes, that's what I would use!

Anonymous said...

What does it do

Anonymous said...

What a nice recipe! Thank you! I hope you don't mind if I post a link of your blog in mine.

Pam Shropshire said...

Holy cow, that's a lot of sugar! I make mine exactly the same, except I only use 2/3 cup sugar per gallon, and it's plenty sweet.

Mary N said...

Pam, In the tips section it states you can use less sugar and adjust amount to your taste/liking. This is a recipe I've had for years. Personally, I prefer unsweetened tea, but once in blue moon, on a really hot day after mowing the lawn, a big tall glass of this sweet tea hits the spot and is a nice treat.

Kelly said...

I used 10 regular tea bags for 3 quarts of tea. I generally use 3 per quart, but my husband likes tea a little stronger.

Anonymous said...

It keeps the tea fresh & from getting cloudy.

Anonymous said...

McDonald's tea is way to sweet, I use half their sweet tea and half their unsweetened tea and its still a bit to sweet, same with Popeye's sweet tea

Anonymous said...

They actually use a whole 5lb bag of sugar in a 2 gallon bucket. That's more than 2.5 lbs of sugar per gallon. I love sweet tea, but to me their sweet tea is nasty as its way to sweet.

Samantha C said...

I always thought McDonald's sweet tea tasted like they use brown sugar. :)

Anonymous said...

I always tell people I had to go to rehab to get off sweet tea! LOL, it is addictive!
Dayna

Anonymous said...

Hi there, thank you for sharing this - we don't get iced tea at Australian McDonalds!
I read recently that squeezing the teabags after soaking them is what can make tea bitter! Interesting.

Ascetic Merer said...

The bags are actually 4lbs. Use to work there.

Anonymous said...

Baking soda neutralizes the acidity in tea. Makes it taste smoother.

Anonymous said...

They use a 4lb bag of sugar per 4 gallon batch. I used to make it 5 nights a week when I worked for McDonald's.

Anonymous said...

What if you would like to just make 2 quarts instead of a gallon?

Unknown said...

McDonalds uses a pound of sugar or 2 1/4 cups per gallon. If you are worried about it dissolving put the sugar in with the boiling water. It emulsifies it or melts it.

Unknown said...

McDonalds uses a pound of sugar or 2 1/4 cups per gallon. If you are worried about it dissolving put the sugar in with the boiling water. It emulsifies it or melts it.

Carol Chavis said...

My mother always added pinch of baking soda to her tea. She said it was for the kidneys. Anyone else ever heard this?