How To Make McDonald’s Iced Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide

McDonald’s iced coffee is a popular choice for many coffee lovers due to its refreshing and bold flavor. Making your own McDonald’s-inspired iced coffee at home allows you to customize it to your taste preferences and save money on your daily caffeine fix. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the necessary ingredients, equipment, and step-by-step instructions to create a delicious McDonald’s iced coffee right in your own kitchen.

Quick Answer: How To Make McDonald’s Iced Coffee

To quickly summarize, making McDonald’s iced coffee at home involves brewing a strong coffee concentrate, sweetening it with simple syrup, and then adding milk or cream before pouring it over ice. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the necessary ingredients, equipment, and a step-by-step guide to achieve the perfect McDonald’s inspired iced coffee experience.

Necessary Ingredients And Equipment


  1. Coffee: Use a high-quality coffee blend, preferably medium to dark roast, for a bold and rich flavor. Ground coffee or coffee beans can be used, and it’s crucial to ensure that the coffee is fresh for the best taste.

  2. Water: Filtered water is recommended for brewing the coffee concentrate to ensure a clean and pure flavor.

  3. Simple Syrup: This is made by dissolving equal parts of sugar and hot water to create a sweet syrup. It blends easily into cold beverages.

  4. Milk or Cream: Select your preferred dairy or non-dairy milk and cream options, such as whole milk, half-and-half, almond milk, or oat milk.

  5. Ice: Freshly made ice cubes or crushed ice will be needed to cool your coffee and create the classic iced coffee experience.


  1. Coffee Maker or French Press: A coffee maker is ideal for brewing a larger batch, while a French press can be used for smaller quantities of strong coffee concentrate.

  2. Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precise measurements are essential for achieving the perfect balance of flavors in your iced coffee.

  3. Pitcher or Jar: A container to mix and store the coffee concentrate and simple syrup.

  4. Stirring Spoon: A long-handled spoon for mixing the coffee concentrate and simple syrup.

  5. Glasses or Tumblers: Choose a glass or tumbler that will comfortably hold your iced coffee and ice.

Now that you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, let’s delve into the detailed steps for making McDonald’s iced coffee at home.

Step-by-Step Guide To Making McDonald’s Iced Coffee

Step 1: Brew The Coffee Concentrate

  1. Measure the coffee and water according to your coffee maker’s specifications. Use a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio for a strong coffee concentrate, ensuring a bold flavor when diluted with ice and milk later.

  2. If using a drip coffee maker, simply add the ground coffee and water to the machine and start the brewing process. For a French press, add the coarsely ground coffee to the press, followed by hot water. Let it steep for about 4 minutes before pressing down the plunger.

  3. Once the brewing process is complete, transfer the brewed coffee to a pitcher or jar and allow it to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. This will help preserve the flavors and prevent the ice from melting too quickly when combined with the hot coffee.

Step 2: Prepare The Simple Syrup

  1. In a small saucepan, combine equal parts of sugar and hot water. For example, 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of hot water.

  2. Stir the sugar and water mixture over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. This will create a clear simple syrup.

  3. Allow the simple syrup to cool before transferring it to a bottle or jar for easy pouring and storage.

Step 3: Assemble The Iced Coffee

  1. Fill a glass or tumbler with ice cubes or crushed ice, leaving enough room for the coffee and milk.

  2. Pour the desired amount of coffee concentrate over the ice, leaving room for the milk or cream.

  3. Add the desired amount of simple syrup to sweeten the coffee according to your taste preferences.

  4. Finally, pour in your choice of milk or cream to complete the iced coffee. Stir the mixture gently to combine all the components.

  5. Optionally, you can add your favorite flavored syrups or a sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon for an extra touch of flavor.

Choosing The Right Coffee Blend

The key to achieving a McDonald’s iced coffee flavor is selecting the right coffee blend. McDonald’s often uses a medium to dark roast coffee blend, which provides a bold and rich flavor profile that stands out when combined with ice and milk. When choosing a coffee blend for your homemade iced coffee, consider the following characteristics:

  1. Roast Level: Medium to dark roast coffee beans or grounds are ideal for creating a robust flavor that can stand up to the dilution from the ice and milk.

  2. Flavor Notes: Look for coffee blends with flavor notes that complement the sweetness of the simple syrup and the creaminess of the milk. Chocolate, caramel, and nutty flavors can enhance the overall taste of the iced coffee.

  3. Grind Size: If using a French press, coarsely ground coffee beans are recommended to achieve a stronger coffee concentrate. For a drip coffee maker, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate grind size.

  4. Freshness: Always use fresh coffee to ensure the best flavor. Purchase whole coffee beans and grind them as needed to preserve the natural oils and aroma until brewing.

Making McDonald’s iced coffee at home allows you to enjoy a refreshing and invigorating beverage customized to your preferences. By following the step-by-step guide and choosing the right coffee blend, you can recreate the bold and rich flavor of McDonald’s iced coffee right in your own kitchen. Experiment with different milk options and flavorings to create your own signature iced coffee variations. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can savor the delightful taste of a McDonald’s-inspired iced coffee whenever the craving strikes.

Selecting The Appropriate Milk

McDonald’s iced coffee is a popular and refreshing beverage enjoyed by many. With its smooth and rich flavors, it’s no wonder that people want to recreate this delicious treat at home. Fortunately, making McDonald’s iced coffee is easier than you might think.

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The first step in making McDonald’s iced coffee is to select the appropriate milk. This choice will greatly impact the overall taste and texture of your beverage. McDonald’s typically uses whole milk for their iced coffee, which contributes to its creamy and rich flavor. However, you are not limited to whole milk. Depending on your personal preference, you can choose alternative options such as 2% milk, skim milk, or even non-dairy milk like almond milk or oat milk. Each type of milk will offer a unique flavor profile and texture, so it’s important to experiment and find the one that suits your taste buds.

If you prefer a creamier texture, whole milk or 2% milk are good choices. These types of milk have a higher fat content, which contributes to the smooth and velvety mouthfeel of the beverage. On the other hand, if you are looking for a lighter option, skim milk or non-dairy milk like almond milk can be used. These alternatives will yield a slightly thinner consistency but still provide a refreshing and delicious iced coffee.

When selecting milk, it’s essential to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies you or your guests may have. If you or someone you are serving is lactose intolerant or has a dairy allergy, non-dairy milk options are a suitable substitution. Keep in mind that non-dairy milk may alter the taste and texture of the iced coffee slightly, but it can still be a delightful and satisfying beverage.

Customizing Flavors And Sweeteners

One of the best things about making your own McDonald’s iced coffee is the ability to customize the flavors and sweetness level to your liking. McDonald’s offers a few flavor options for their iced coffee, including vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. To recreate these flavors at home, you can use flavored syrups or extracts.

Start by brewing a fresh pot of coffee using your preferred coffee beans or grounds. Allow it to cool to room temperature before proceeding. Once your coffee is ready, you can begin adding your desired flavor. For a vanilla iced coffee, add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract or a pump or two of vanilla syrup to your cup of coffee. Stir well to ensure the flavor is evenly distributed.

If you prefer caramel-flavored iced coffee, you can use caramel syrup, which is readily available in most grocery stores. Add a generous drizzle of caramel syrup to your coffee and stir until well combined. For a hazelnut twist, hazelnut syrup or a splash of hazelnut extract can be added in a similar manner.

If you want to experiment with different flavors, feel free to combine syrups or extracts. For example, you can mix vanilla and caramel syrup to create a delicious caramel vanilla iced coffee or combine vanilla and hazelnut syrup for a hazelnut vanilla twist. The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative and find the perfect flavor combination that suits your taste.

In addition to flavors, customizing the sweetness level is also essential. McDonald’s iced coffee is usually sweetened, but the amount of sweetness can be adjusted to your preference. To sweeten your iced coffee, you can use simple syrup, which is a mixture of equal parts sugar and water, dissolved together. Add a tablespoon or two of simple syrup to your coffee and stir well. If you prefer a sweeter beverage, add more syrup, or if you like it less sweet, reduce the amount accordingly. Remember, it’s always a good idea to start with a smaller amount of sweetener and adjust as necessary.

Adding A Creamy Topping

To enhance the creaminess and presentation of your McDonald’s inspired iced coffee, adding a creamy topping is a great option. McDonald’s typically tops their iced coffee with whipped cream, which adds a delightful texture and flavor boost. To recreate this at home, you will need whipped cream and a canister or dispenser to create the perfect dollop of cream.

There are two main options for whipped cream: store-bought or homemade. If you prefer convenience, store-bought whipped cream can be easily found in most supermarkets. Look for a can or tub of whipped cream in the dairy or frozen section. Simply shake the can or scoop the desired amount of whipped cream onto the top of your iced coffee.

On the other hand, if you prefer a homemade whipped cream, it’s quite simple to make. Start by chilling a metal mixing bowl in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Once the bowl is chilled, add one cup of heavy whipping cream, two tablespoons of powdered sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract to the bowl. Use an electric mixer or a whisk to beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. This process typically takes a few minutes, so be patient as you whip the cream. Once the whipped cream is ready, spoon it onto your iced coffee, and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.

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Adding a creamy topping not only enhances the flavor and presentation of your McDonald’s inspired iced coffee but also adds a touch of indulgence to your beverage. The whipped cream complements the coffee flavors and provides a luxurious mouthfeel, making each sip a delightful experience.

Tips For Perfecting The Iced Coffee Texture

In addition to selecting the right milk, customizing flavors and sweeteners, and adding a creamy topping, there are a few additional tips to ensure you achieve the perfect texture for your McDonald’s inspired iced coffee.

The first tip is to brew your coffee at double strength. Since you will be pouring the coffee over ice, the melting ice cubes will dilute the flavor. Brewing a stronger pot of coffee ensures that the flavors remain rich and bold even after the ice melts. For example, if you normally use one tablespoon of coffee grounds per cup of water, try using two tablespoons per cup instead.

Next, allow your brewed coffee to cool to room temperature before pouring it over ice. Pouring hot coffee directly over ice can result in a watery and diluted beverage. By allowing the coffee to cool, you prevent the ice from melting too quickly and diluting the flavors. Alternatively, you can prepare coffee ahead of time and refrigerate it until you are ready to make your iced coffee.

When it comes to the ice, there are a few considerations as well. Using regular ice cubes might cause the coffee to become diluted quickly. To avoid this, you can try using coffee ice cubes instead. Coffee ice cubes are made by freezing leftover coffee in an ice cube tray. These coffee cubes will not dilute your beverage as they melt, ensuring a consistently strong and flavorful iced coffee.

Finally, when assembling your iced coffee, ensure that you have a tall glass or container with enough room for both the coffee and the ice. You want to leave enough space for the ice to float freely, enabling it to cool the coffee evenly. It’s also a good idea to stir your iced coffee with a long spoon to ensure that the flavors are completely integrated.

Making McDonald’s iced coffee at home is a fun and rewarding process. By selecting the appropriate milk, customizing flavors and sweeteners, adding a creamy topping, and perfecting the texture, you can create a delicious and refreshing beverage that rivals the ones you would get at your local McDonald’s. Remember to experiment with different milk options, flavors, and levels of sweetness to find the perfect combination for your taste buds. With a little practice and these tips in mind, you’ll be sipping on your homemade McDonald’s iced coffee in no time. Enjoy!

Storing And Serving Suggestions

McDonald’s is renowned for its delicious range of beverages, and one of the most popular options on their menu is the iced coffee. With its smooth and rich flavor, it’s no wonder why fans of McDonald’s can’t get enough of it. While you can always swing by the drive-thru to satisfy your craving, it’s also possible to recreate this delightful beverage at home.

Before diving into the process of making McDonald’s iced coffee, it’s important to understand the storage and serving suggestions for the best results. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Coffee Quality: To ensure a delicious cup of iced coffee, start with high-quality coffee beans. Freshly roasted beans will have a more robust flavor compared to pre-ground coffee, so consider investing in a burr grinder to grind your coffee beans just before brewing.

  2. Water Quality: The quality of water also affects the taste of your coffee. Try using filtered water or bottled water for the best results.

  3. Refrigeration: If you plan on making a larger batch of iced coffee, it’s essential to refrigerate it properly. Transfer the coffee into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. For optimal flavor, consume it within 24 hours.

  4. Glassware: Consider serving your homemade McDonald’s iced coffee in a tall glass for an authentic experience. Adding ice cubes and a straw can enhance the presentation and make it more enjoyable to drink.

Hack: Making A Homemade Version

Now that we understand the basics let’s dive into the process of making McDonald’s iced coffee at home. Here’s a step-by-step guide:


  • 1 cup of strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup of milk (whole, skim, or even almond milk, according to preference)
  • Sugar or sweetener (optional)
  • Ice cubes


  1. Start by brewing a cup of strong coffee using your preferred brewing method. Remember to adjust the coffee-to-water ratio based on your desired strength.

  2. Once the coffee is brewed, allow it to cool slightly before refrigerating it. This will prevent the ice cubes from melting too quickly once added to the coffee.

  3. Once the coffee is properly cooled, take a tall glass and fill it halfway with ice cubes.

  4. Pour the cooled coffee into the glass, leaving some space for your desired amount of milk.

  5. Add milk to the glass, about 1/4 cup, or according to your taste. You can use whole milk for a creamier texture or skim milk for a lighter option. If you prefer a non-dairy option, almond milk can be a great choice.

  6. If you like your iced coffee on the sweeter side, you can add sugar or your preferred sweetener. Start with a teaspoon and adjust according to your taste preferences.

  7. Stir the mixture well to ensure the coffee, milk, and sweetener are fully combined.

  8. Finally, you can add more ice cubes to the glass if desired, and serve your homemade McDonald’s iced coffee.

  9. Enjoy your creation!

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By following these simple steps, you can have a delicious cup of McDonald’s inspired iced coffee from the comfort of your own home.

Nutritional Information And Health Considerations

While McDonald’s iced coffee is undeniably tasty, it’s important to consider the nutritional information and health implications before indulging too often. Here is a breakdown of the approximate nutritional content of a regular-sized McDonald’s iced coffee:

  • Calories: 120 kcal
  • Total Fat: 2.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg
  • Sodium: 45 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 22 g
  • Protein: 2 g

While these numbers may vary depending on the size and customization of your coffee, it’s essential to be mindful of your overall dietary goals. If you’re watching your calorie intake or are sensitive to caffeine, it’s good practice to enjoy iced coffee in moderation.

Health Considerations

  1. Caffeine Sensitivity: Iced coffee typically contains more caffeine than regular coffee due to the brewing process. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or have any health conditions that limit your caffeine intake, it’s essential to monitor your consumption.

  2. Added Sugars: McDonald’s iced coffee contains a significant amount of sugar. If you’re watching your sugar intake or have conditions like diabetes, it’s essential to consider healthier alternatives or reduce the amount of added sugar in your homemade version.

  3. Dairy and Gluten Intolerance: If you have lactose intolerance or follow a gluten-free diet, make sure to select alternative milk options that suit your dietary needs.

  4. Overall Diet: While enjoying the occasional treat like McDonald’s iced coffee is perfectly fine, it should be considered as part of an overall balanced and healthy diet. Make sure to prioritize consuming nutrient-dense foods and staying hydrated throughout the day.

Fun Ways To Enjoy McDonald’s Iced Coffee Year-Round

McDonald’s iced coffee is a versatile beverage that can be customized in various ways to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few fun ways to enjoy your homemade McDonald’s inspired iced coffee throughout the year:

  1. Flavored Syrups: Experiment with different flavored syrups, such as vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, or mint, to add a burst of flavor to your iced coffee. Simply add a splash of your preferred syrup after mixing the coffee, milk, and sweetener.

  2. Whipped Cream and Toppings: For a more indulgent treat, top your iced coffee with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle some cocoa powder, cinnamon, or chocolate shavings on top.

  3. Blended Iced Coffee: Transform your regular iced coffee into a creamy and refreshing coffee shake by blending it with ice and a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. This is a great option during the hot summer months when you crave a chilled dessert-like treat.

  4. Iced Mocha: Add a chocolatey twist to your iced coffee by incorporating a tablespoon of chocolate syrup or cocoa powder. This delicious combination is sure to satisfy your cravings for both coffee and chocolate.

  5. Frozen Coffee Popsicles: If you have leftover iced coffee, don’t let it go to waste. Pour the remaining coffee into popsicle molds and freeze it for a delightful frozen treat that can be enjoyed on a hot day.

  6. Coffee Ice Cubes: Instead of using regular ice cubes, freeze leftover coffee into ice cube trays. These coffee-infused ice cubes can be added to any cold beverage, including iced coffee, to prevent dilution while adding an extra kick of flavor.

By getting creative with your add-ins and presentation, you can have fun customizing your McDonald’s inspired iced coffee to suit any occasion.


McDonald’s iced coffee is a refreshing and popular beverage that can now be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. By following a simple recipe and adding your personal twists, you can recreate the smooth and rich flavors that have made this drink a fan favorite. Remember to consider storage and serving suggestions, nutritional information, and health considerations to ensure that you indulge responsibly. Whether you’re enjoying it as a morning pick-me-up, an afternoon treat, or a delightful dessert, homemade McDonald’s iced coffee is sure to satisfy your craving for this beloved beverage.

FAQS On How To Make Mcdonalds Iced Coffee

What Ingredients Are Needed To Make McDonald’s Iced Coffee?

The ingredients needed for McDonald’s iced coffee are coffee, ice, milk, sugar (optional), and cream (optional).

What Type Of Coffee Is Used In McDonald’s Iced Coffee?

McDonald’s iced coffee is made with a medium roast coffee, typically sourced from Brazil and Colombia.

Can I Use Different Types Of Milk In McDonald’s Iced Coffee?

Yes, McDonald’s offers a variety of milk options for their iced coffee, including whole milk, skim milk, and almond milk.

How Is McDonald’s Iced Coffee Prepared?

McDonald’s iced coffee is prepared by brewing the coffee, chilling it, and then adding ice, milk, and sugar (optional) to the desired level of sweetness.

Can I Add Flavors Or Syrup To McDonald’s Iced Coffee?

Yes, McDonald’s offers a variety of flavor syrups for customers to personalize their iced coffee, including vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. These can be added at the time of ordering or you can request them from the condiment station.