Copycat McDonald's Sweet Tea

 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)


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!   


  • Plastic pitchers work best - NEVER pour boiling water in glass pitcher that is not heat-proof, it may shatter. 
  • If you have an older plastic pitcher and/or are concerned about chemicals with hot liquids - use a larger sauce pan and add your sugar in the pan, when the sugar is dissolved, add it to the pitcher with the 12 cups of water already added. 
  • *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).