McDonald’s is handing out free bottles of its Big Mac special sauce

WASHINGTON — McDonald’s, which recently rolled out two new versions of its iconic Big Mac — the Mac Jr. and the Grand Mac — will give away 10,000 bottles of the sauce that made the Big Mac famous at selected locations on Thursday.

The giveaway, on a first-come-first-served basis, a first for the fast-food chain.

The McDonald’s locations are being kept under wraps until Jan. 25. The D.C. location where a limited number of sauce bottles will be handed out will be posted at

In order to get the free bottle, customers must say the special code phrase “There’s a Big Mac for that.”

McDonald’s introduced the Big Mac in 1968, but the special sauce name comes from a 1975 advertising campaign that rattled off the list of Big Mac ingredients (“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”).

McDonald’s still calls the sauce recipe secret, though it is a variation on Thousand Island dressing, including mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, vinegar and spices.

McDonald’s does say the sauce must be refrigerated, so customers should plan accordingly when trying to get a bottle.

They also will make a special bottle number 10,001, which will be auctioned off on Friday to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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