How to make fire cider

posted in: Herbalism | 0

Fire cider is a traditional herbal folk recipe. It's usually made in the fall and winter, but is useful any time one would want to support their immune system. It's been popularized by Rosemary Gladstar, but it's origins go way back.

Fire cider is a “folk” recipe, which simply means that there are many different variations of it. Many herbalists enjoy putting their own twist on fire cider by adding unique ingredients, depending on preferences and what's in season and abundant. There are a few key herbs that make fire cider what it is.

Fire cider is a warming, immune boosting recipe. I enjoy having it around during the fall and winter months. When I drink it, I feel strengthened and “activated.” I don't always make mine the same way – it depends on what I have on hand.


  • 4 cups raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 a cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped horseradish
  • 1/4 cup garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped ginger
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 sprig of oregano
  • 5 chopped jalepenos
  • 2 Tablespoons of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup raw, local honey

See all those roots? As mentioned, this is a folk recipe. It's okay if the measurements are a bit different than what's here. Use what is abundantly available to you – that's the best way! This recipe is just a basic one to give you a place to start from.

Making fire cider is similar to other infused vinegars:

  1. First, chop up your plant material.
  2. Place it in a large glass jar.
  3. Cover with Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. Wait several (at least 3) weeks for the vinegar to become infused with the plant constituents. Shake the jar as often as you remember during this time.
  5. Strain the honey into another glass jar and add the honey. Stir or shake well to combine.

Tip: Placing a layer of plastic wrap between your jar and the metal lid will help prevent the lid from rusting. It's a common issue with vinegar-based herbal recipes.

Fire Cider Add Ins

Those aren't the only plants and herbs you can add to fire cider, though. Consider these:

  • Any citrus juices or wedges (peel and all!)
  • Cayenne or any other hot peppers
  • Turmeric root
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Astragalus root

How to Use Fire Cider

You can simply take a 1 oz. shot of fire cider, if you'd like.

You can also add an ounce of it to 4-5 ounces of hot water with raw honey and drink it like tea.

You can add it to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.

You can drizzle it on salads.

You can add it to orange juice or lemonade.

What Does Fire Cider Taste Like?

Fire cider is a spicy-hot, sweet, apple cider vinegar shot. You can FEEL the heat with fire cider. It's very strong, but I personally enjoy it.

How Often Should You Use Fire Cider

You can take a 1-oz shot of fire cider vinegar several times per day. Many folks enjoy taking it with each meal for immune system support throughout the flu season.

What Do You Do With Fire Cider Pulp?

When you're done infusing the apple cider vinegar, you'll be left with a pile of mushy herbs and vegetables. There are a number of things you could do with this stuff:

  • Compost it.
  • Add flavor to soups.
  • Grind it up and add it sour cream or plain yogurt for kind of a weird dip/spread.
  • Add it to sandwiches or as a topping for things, similar to how you might use sauerkraut or pickles.

Fire cider quickly becomes a seasonal favorite for home herbalists. Give it a try and you'll see why!


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Follow Kylie Wiser:

Kylie Wiser is an herbalist specializing in skincare and women's health. She shares recipes and resources on Everblossom to help others live a more holistic lifestyle. She lives in Fargo, ND with her huge family and lots of houseplants.

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