Updated: Oct 20
Fire Cider is a traditional folk remedy with citrus, horseradish, herbs, spices, and apple cider vinegar. It’s a potent tonic that’s been used for generations as a remedy to boost the immune system, protect against colds and flu, and naturally ease sinus congestion. We also have a Wild Mountain version of fire cider that incorporates some of the wild foraged herbs we stock in our apothecary, but this is a traditional recipe for those who want a recipe with easier-to-obtain herbs.
A Quick Disclaimer
Please remember that the information here is intended to be fun and educational and not intended to be used as medical advice. Just because something is “natural” does not always mean it is safe for every person. When it comes to herbal medicine, many plants should be avoided when pregnant or nursing, and some can cause extreme interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medicine. I am in no way suggesting that you should fail to seek medical advice when needed. Before using herbal preparations, always do your research and speak to a professional regarding any concerns.
What Is Fire Cider?
Fire cider, the name is admittedly intimidating. This traditional tonic calls for seven basic ingredients: horseradish, ginger, garlic, lemons, cinnamon, onions, thyme, and hot peppers. These are steeped in apple cider vinegar for 3 to 4 weeks before being strained and finished with honey to balance the acidity. It’s remarkably easy to make at home, and it’s also easy to adjust to your tastes, preferences, and surroundings.
What Ingredients Go in Traditional Fire Cider?
The base recipe includes horseradish, ginger, garlic, lemons, cinnamon, onions, thyme, hot peppers, and apple cider vinegar. But there is no reason to stop there. Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it, what's growing around you, and what medicinals you may have foraged over the season. The important part is to use ingredients that you enjoy and whose health benefits you are confident of.
How to Use Fire Cider
There are as many ways to use this tonic as there are to make it, but to get you started, here are a few ideas:
By the shot (about 1-2 Tablespoons) straight up.
As a mixer in warm water, juice, or apple cider.
Use it to make a delicious homemade salad dressing.
Use in Bloody Marys — alcoholic or not!
Drizzle over steamed veggies.
Use as a marinade for tofu, meat, etc.
Add to soup or chili.
How to Make Traditional Fire Cider
4” piece of fresh Horseradish, diced
4” piece of fresh Ginger root, diced (or 1 tbsp. dried)
3” piece of fresh Turmeric root, diced (or 1 tbsp. dried)
2 cinnamon sticks (or tbsp Cinnamon powder)
3 sprigs of fresh Thyme (could use 1 tbsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. Crushed red chile
1 Tbsp. Black Peppercorns
2 Tbsp. of Dried Rosemary leaves
½ white Onion chopped
2 dried red Chile de Arbol (or 1 fresh jalapeno)
2 Lemons or Oranges, sliced (or a combination)
1 head of Garlic, peeled (could use 2 Tbsp. powdered)
organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of raw, local honey, or to taste
Layer all the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices in a clean one-quart jar, then fill the jar with apple cider vinegar, leaving about ½ inch from the top.
Seal your cap tightly. If using a mason jar or other metal top jar, place a piece of cooking parchment or a small plastic bag between the ingredients and the lid to keep the lid from corroding.
Shake well and store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Shake daily for 4 weeks or up to 6 weeks.
Using cheesecloth or a fine colander, strain and discard all plant materials from the vinegar. Transfer your Fire Cider to a clean jar.
Sweeten with honey to taste.
Fire Cider will store at room temperature for up to 6 months or in the refrigerator for up to one year.
Have you tried Fire Cider before? What is your favorite recipe or ingredient? Tell us all about it in the comments below! And, as always, until next time: