Fire cider is a traditional folk remedy originally developed by the American herbal community in the early 1980s. This health tonic is filled with anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory ingredients that are said to help boost immunity. Every fire cider recipe is different, with each person adding their own special touch, but the base is typically fresh garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, hot peppers, and a combination of fresh or dried herbs that marinate in vinegar and are mixed with honey. The term “fire cider” went through a five-year court battle, as one maker tried to trademark the term. Ultimately, this herbal mixture has been freed from trademark restrictions, meaning anyone can make and sell fire cider.
1/2 cup fresh ginger root, chopped or grated
1/2 cup horseradish root, chopped or grated
1 onion, chopped
10 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped or ½ teaspoon dried cayenne pepper
1 beet, chopped
1 lemon, chopped
1 orange, chopped
5 fresh rosemary sprigs or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
5 fresh thyme sprigs or 2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 32-ounce bottle unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup raw honey, or to taste
1/4 cup 100% unsweetened tart cherry juice, or to taste
Add ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, jalapeño peppers, beet, lemon, orange, rosemary, and thyme into a quart-sized glass jar. There's no need to peel any of your produce. Pour apple cider vinegar in the jar until all the ingredients are fully covered and the vinegar reaches the top of the jar. Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or use a plastic lid. Shake jar to combine all the ingredients and store in a dark, cool place for 4-to-8 weeks. Be sure to shake the jar for a few seconds each day.
When you are ready, use a mesh strainer to strain out the solids, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar of similar size. (The leftover solids can be used in a stir-fry or you can compost them.) Add honey and tart cherry juice to the liquid and stir until the mixture is incorporated. Taste your fire cider and add more honey or cherry juice to taste (some like it sweeter and some like it hotter). Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or in a cold, dark place.
How to Use It
It’s safe to drink a tablespoon (or more) every day as a preventative. If you feel a cold or flu coming on, you can increase the dose. It's a strong and spicy tonic best taken with a little bit of food in your stomach. Here are a few ways to get your daily dose:
- Take a shot from the jar (1 tablespoon)
- Add a shot to warm water or apple cider
- Add a shot to salad dressing for some extra heat
- Drizzle on cooked veggies or add to soup
© 2020 Suzanne Boothby. Used with permission.