Fiery, potent, and ready to kick cold season’s butt, fire cider is a spicy tonic with powerful healing and anti-inflammatory effects. It’s easy to make this fire cider recipe in your own kitchen with a few basic (spicy) staples such as horseradish, ginger, and garlic. Here’s a new way to drink to your health.
Of course, with any new tonic, cleanse, or super spicy drink (ahem, fire cider) please consult your medical care provider or nutritionist/dietician first. More important, listen to your body. If fire cider does not agree with you – do not drink it!
What is Fire Cider?
Fire cider has been used for generations as a folk remedy for health and healing. Mountain Rose Herbs, a premiere organic herb and botanical company, notes that the typical base of fire cider is unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers, with the addition of added herbs and spices for an extra kick.
“Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it and what's growing around you,” Mountain Rose Herbs notes of this master tonic.
Herbalist and author of "Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Handcrafted Squashes, Shrubs, Switchels, Tonics, and Infusions to Mix at Home," Emily Han, likes to add turmeric, citrus, and herbs like parsley, rosemary, and thyme to her fire cider. “Together they form a potent punch that is immune-boosting, antibacterial, antiviral, congestion clearing, and warming,” she says.
Fire cider has recently been trademarked in 2014 by Shire City Herbals who bottles and sells fire cider in stores. It says its organic herbal tonic is made to help “restore, stimulate, or invigorate the body” all while promoting health and wellbeing.
This fire cider recipe can easily be made at home, despite trademark laws, with a few simple and spicy pantry staples.
Fire Cider Recipe: Buying the Ingredients
To make spicy and zesty fire cider in your own kitchen, you’ll need a few necessities including unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, raw honey, onion, garlic, ginger, citrus fruits such as lemon or orange, and a hot chili or two.
Other optional ingredients include fresh turmeric root, herbs such as parsley, cilantro, thyme, oregano, and rosemary, black peppercorns, and dried echinacea root.
Choose organic ingredients when making this fire cider recipe, as they will infuse into apple cider vinegar to make a concentrated tonic. There’s no need for pesticides or other chemicals floating around in there, too. Purchase organic ingredients and wash and scrub thoroughly before using.
How to Reap the Benefits of Fire Cider
Proponents of this fiery concoction note fire cider to help support digestion, keep away seasonal colds and flus, boost circulation, and break up sinus infections.
This fire cider recipe is made up of a host of healthful and nutrient-packed ingredients, notably ginger, garlic, turmeric, and everyone’s favorite vinegar, ACV.
Ginger root contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds noted to reduce symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, arthritis, and even morning sickness and motion sickness.
Garlic is a nutrient-dense member of the onion family shown to reduce blood pressure, prevent the hardening of plaque on arteries, and promote longevity and health thanks to its ample antioxidants.
Although new research shows that turmeric may not be all that its cracked up to be, this root provides warmth and a spicy taste that is a welcome addition to this fire cider recipe. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that has been associated with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Unpasteurized and raw apple cider vinegar with the mother is our go-to pantry staple. Not only does this fermented liquid contain beneficial probiotics, it also contains trace vitamins, minerals, and enzymes correlated with digestive health.
How To Use Fire Cider
“We like to drink half to one tablespoon straight up every day to keep us hale, hearty, and energized,” Shire City Herbals notes.
Despite how many shots of this potent fire tonic you consume, there are plenty of amazing health benefits with taking a sip or two.
However, fire cider is not a ready-to-drink beverage. Shire City Herbals notes it’s a tonic, "meant to be taken in small amounts or added to water, tea, or juice, or even used in other recipes.”
Here are our favorite ways to reap the benefits of this fiery tonic.
- Add to salad dressings.
- Use as a marinade for vegetables, tempeh, chicken, or meat.
- Drizzle onto sautéed greens and warm salads.
- Add a splash to juice or tea.
- Make a spicy wellness shot: pour one-ounce fire cider in a shot glass and drink. Bottoms up!
- Mix with hot water and honey to make a tonic tea.
- Add to soups, stews, and chilies.
- Add a splash in a cocktail, to use in place of a drinking shrub or bitter.
- 3 cups unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup peeled and chopped horseradish
- ½ cup peeled and chopped ginger
- ½ cup peeled and chopped turmeric
- ½ cup peeled and chopped garlic
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1 orange peeled and sliced
- 1 lemon peeled and sliced
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (oregano parsley, thyme, etc.)
- ¼ cup raw honey
- Place all herbs, spices, roots, and fruits into a large mason jar.
- Fill jar with apple cider vinegar, covering all ingredients completely.
- Seal the jar tightly. If using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment paper in between lid and vinegar to prevent corrosion. Shake mixture well.
- Let the jar sit for three to six weeks, shaking at least two to three times per week.
- Strain vinegar mixture into a clean jar and discard herbs. Stir in raw honey, and add more to taste if necessary.
- Store fire cider in refrigerator in a sealed jar where it will keep for a year.