Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (2024)

Fire cider is a traditional folk remedy made with vinegar, spices, and herbs. It’s believed to boost immunity and fight off colds and flu. And it’s easy to make at home!

Last fall, over coffee, a friend asked if I had heard of fire cider. Of course, I had heard of fire cider. But had I tried it? Negative!

Luckily for me, she had a batch ready to go. I was hooked and decided I needed to be making my own fire cider.

After four long weeks had passed – it was time to give the fire cider a taste test! What resulted was an incredibly delicious herbal tonic with zesty notes of spice. Needless to say – my homebrew exceeded my expectations!

This spicy master tonic is now a fall tradition in our home.

This traditional fire cider recipe is dedicated to autumn.

Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (1)
Jump to:
  • Tips + Tricks
  • What Is Fire Cider?
  • How To Use Fire Cider
  • Common Ingredients
  • How To Make Fire Cider
  • What To Do With The Pulp?
  • Batch + Storage
  • 📖 Printable Recipe
  • Sources

Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> Consult with your medical professionals before using a natural remedy like fire cider.

No. 2 –> Dilute! If you find your fire cider to be packing a potent punch, you can simply dilute it with water or add some raw honey until it’s palatable for you, or see my how to use fire cider section below for ideas on how to incorporate it in culinary ways versus taking it straight.

No. 3 –> Make it your own. I am a huge advocate of playing with the recipe. I’ve listed common ingredients below to help inspire you. Choose flavors that you like or ingredients that you can get your hands on, I have a really hard time tracking down horseradish, so I simply omit it!

No. 4 –> Wear gloves… Normally I would have this as a tip for a recipe including lots of hot peppers, like dill pickle hot sauce or fermented salsa, but for this recipe, it’s to protect against turmeric stains! Hah!

Disclaimer: This article does NOT constitute medical advice, diagnostic advice, or treatment advice, as I am not a medical professional or certified herbalist. The information within this article is for entertainment purposes. Always use sound judgment and seek guidance from your doctor before using medicinal herbs or natural remedies.

Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (2)

What Is Fire Cider?

Fire Cider [1] is a spicy, bold, and vibrant tonic made with apple cider vinegar infused with a variety of herbs and spices that was first coined in the kitchen at the California School of Herbal Studies in the early 1980s. It was created by renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar to teach her students how to make herbal preparations that were both food and medicine. She wanted to bring medicinal herbalism back into people’s kitchens as part of their normal diet.

The herbal remedy gained its name because of its potent combination of ingredients known for their warming properties such as garlic, ginger root, horseradish root, onions, hot peppers, jalapeños, turmeric, and various herbs and roots. It is believed that the combination of these ingredients can help your body fight sickness by boosting the immune system and purifying your system of toxins. Furthermore, some feel that consuming fire cider regularly helps improve overall health by cleansing skin and promoting digestive health. Each ingredient contributes its own unique flavor resulting in a spicy kick.

Since its creation in the 1980’s Fire tonic has become quite popular throughout natural health circles due to its unique combination of flavors that provide a delicious way to incorporate medicinal-grade herbs into your diet. Fire Cider recipes have been shared freely since its conception and have developed a large following.

Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (3)

Who Is Rosemary Gladstar?

Rosemary Gladstar [2] is an esteemed figure in the world of modern herbalism. An internationally renowned expert on herbs and medicine, she has been learning, teaching, and writing about plants for over four decades. She has authored 11 books, is the Founding President of United Plant Savers- a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting native medicinal plant species from extinction- as well as the founder and past director of the International Herb Symposium.

In her long career devoted to herbalism, Rosemary Gladstar has earned numerous awards in recognition of her work and has made substantial contributions to the field of herbal medicine through her various works that have helped thousands of people learn more about herbs and benefit from them.

How To Use Fire Cider

Most proponents recommend a shot of fire cider a day during flu season and the winter months, I personally prefer to harness it in a culinary way.

Fire ciders are versatile infused vinegars that can be used to add flavor and punch to a variety of dishes. It is a great way to spice up soups, stews, salads, marinades, and more. These herbal vinegars can be used in place of regular vinegar in any recipe that calls for it but is especially good when used with foods that are fatty or have bold flavors. It adds a spicy kick and depth of flavor to recipes that cannot be achieved by other types of vinegar.

One delicious way to use fire cider is in salad dressings. Simply mix together some fire cider with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and other herbs or spices for an incredibly flavorful dressing that will take your salads up a notch. Fire cider also pairs well with roasted vegetables like potatoes and carrots. Simply add the desired amount of fire cider to the vegetables before roasting them in the oven for added zing and depth of flavor.

For those who want something more complex than just adding fire cider to recipes straight from the bottle, consider using it as an ingredient in cooked dishes such as braised meats, sauces, or broths and stocks. When used this way it can help break down tough cuts of meat while imparting some wonderful complexities into sauces and broths. For instance, try adding a few tablespoons of fire cider to sautéed onions or add it directly into your favorite tomato sauce recipe for some amazing results!

Another excellent culinary use for fire cider is as an ingredient in marinades. Add some fire cider along with lemon juice and herbs to marinate chicken breasts or pork tenderloin before cooking them–it will add wonderful flavor while tenderizing the meat at the same time! Alternatively, you could use it as part of a wet rub for ribs–simply combine equal parts fire cider with brown sugar or honey for an incredible sweet-and-spicy coating on beef ribs or pork ribs that will tantalize your taste buds!

Finally, don’t forget about drinks when utilizing your fire cider–try stirring a spoonful into herbal tea for a warming tea on cold winter days!

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Common Ingredients

The original recipe for fire cider has been altered and changed so many times that even Rosemary claims she doesn’t remember the original. But that’s ok, there is nothing wrong with experimenting in your own kitchen using the base and optional ingredients listed below.

Each batch of homemade fire cider starts with raw apple cider vinegar and most people choose to customize it for their own tastes and preferences. In my opinion, I don’t think there is a wrong way to build your own master tonic.

Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar: Raw ACV is filled with beneficial probiotics [3]. Vinegar was one of man’s first topical antiseptics, it is able to kill some fungi and a wide variety of bacteria. [28].

Hot Peppers: Traditionally used to break up colds and brewed into teas to treat the flu. Cherokee people used hot peppers to heal colds and applied them as a poultice to the feet to treat low fevers [4]. The capsaicin in hot peppers helps to stimulate circulation and aid in digestion [5].

Garlic: Louis Pasteur confirmed garlic’s antibiotic abilities all the way back in 1858! [6]. And during WWII, garlic was often called “Russian Penicillin” as it was used by Russian forces when they ran low on antibiotics [7]. Garlic’s superpowers come from allicin, which is a naturally occurring sulfur-containing compound created when garlic cloves are crushed, sliced, or chewed [8]. It’s easy to see why many elixirs from days past used garlic.

Onion: Belong to the same family as garlic, Allium spp, and also share the benefit of allicin [9]. Onions also bring anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities to the mix! [10].

Lemon: “It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health.” – stated Maud Grieve in her 1931 book A Modern Herbal, and for good reason. For many years, lemon juice and the oil from the rinds were prescribed for head colds, coughs, sore throats, and more [11]. Lemon’s astringent qualities and high vitamin C levels can benefit overall health and digestion [12].

Ginger: Was originally introduced to the West via tropical Asia over 1000 years ago and has been used medicinally since [13]. Folk medicine harnessed the warming powers of ginger to help warm the stomach and quell chills. Ginger also boasts high amounts of antioxidants [14]. Another great way to add the benefits of raw ginger to your diet is to make yummy ginger turmeric shots.

Cranberry: Has been a dietary staple for North American Indigenous for hundreds of years. Cranberries are high in vitamin C [15] and offer antioxidant effects [16].

Thyme: Tea made from thyme leaves and flowers was used to relieve cold symptoms by early European settlers to North America due to its expectorant and antiseptic properties [17] that work together to suppress coughs and loosen congestion [18].

Rosemary: Is regarded as uplifting and energizing and can invigorate circulation helping to alleviate cold conditions including chills [19].

Cinnamon Bark: Is commonly used in the West for digestive upset and is popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine [20]. Cinnamon also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects [21].

Turmeric: Has long been used as a herbal medicine [22] well-researched benefits as an antibiotic and has shown the ability to inhibit the growth of certain fungi [23]. The curcumin found in turmeric is a strong natural anti-inflammatory [24].

Anise: Not to be confused with Chinese star anise, licorice-flavored anise can still be found in some modern cough and cold medicines [25]. Anise can boost digestion due to its carminative effects [26] and is a good expectorant while soothing dry coughs [27].

Horseradish: Horseradish can help to fight inflammation and help to improve respiratory function [29]. If you can’t find fresh horseradish root, feel free to sub in a dried version. Horseradish can affect thyroid activity, so skip this ingredient if you’ve got thyroid issues.

Black Pepper: Surprisingly, black pepper packs anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant abilities inside its small peppercorns. Black pepper also improves the body’s ability to absorb curcumin from turmeric[30]!

Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (5)

How To Make Fire Cider

Build The Flavors:

  1. Begin by choosing your ingredients. My favorite blend so far has been 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped ginger, 1/2 cup chopped turmeric, 1/2 cup chopped cranberries, 1 organic lemon chopped, 10 garlic cloves, 2 habaneros sliced, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 sprig of thyme, 1 cinnamon stick.
  2. Layer the prepared ingredients in a large glass jar, a quart jar works wonderfully.
  3. Pour raw apple cider vinegar over the fire cider ingredients until just covered. Use a fermentation weight, a piece of parchment paper, or a ziplock baggie filled with vinegar.
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Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (7)
Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (8)
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Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (10)

Steep:

  1. Cover the jar with an airtight lid, if using metal mason jar lid, cover the jar mouth with a piece of parchment paper to prevent corrosion of the metal, and place it somewhere you’ll see it daily to observe and to shake or swish daily or a couple of times a day but keep it away from direct sunlight. A bright spot in your kitchen is fine, but directly near a window is not.
  2. Allow the ingredients to steep in the apple cider vinegar for at least 4 weeks.
Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (11)
Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (12)

Finish The Process:

  1. Strain the liquid from the solids and transfer it to a clean jar, use a large spoon to press and squeeze as much of that valuable liquid from the soilds as you can. If you plan on using the fire cider straight, it can be sweetened slightly with high-quality local honey or maple syrup to taste.
  2. Store your fire cider in a cool place, I like to store it in the fridge.
Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (13)
Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (14)
Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (15)

Disclaimer: This article does NOT constitute medical advice, diagnostic advice, or treatment advice, as I am not a medical professional or certified herbalist. The information within this article is for entertainment purposes. Always use sound judgment and seek guidance from your doctor before using herbal or natural remedies.

What To Do With The Pulp?

The main goal of Master Tonic is the infused vinegar, but that doesn’t mean that the pulp is worthless! That pulp just spent 4 weeks being infused with all the good things inside of the vinegar – it is equally valuable – though many seem to skip over that!

Here are some ideas on how to use your pulp:

  • feed it to your backyard flock! My birds LOVE a little treat of finely diced pulp here and there.
  • dehydrate it and grind it into a powder to use as a seasoning, I also do this with my dill pickle hot sauce pulp!
  • my friend freeze-dries hers and fills capsules so she can take it even after the fire cider is gone.
  • freeze it in small portions and add it to stir-fries or salads.
Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (16)

Batch + Storage

Batch:

A quart-sized glass jar filled with chopped ingredients and topped off with apple cider vinegar will yield right around 500 ml or 2 cups of fire cider.

Storage:

I like to keep my fire in the fridge in a pint-sized mason jar, that said, it can be store in a cool dark place with an airtight lid for up to 12 months.

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📖 Printable Recipe

Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (17)

Traditional Fire Cider

Allyson Letal

Looking to liven up your cooking game? Try this homemade fire cider recipe! This fiery blend of apple cider vinegar, herbs, and fruits is sure to add a unique kick of flavor to whatever dish you’re making. Plus, its immune-supporting benefits will help keep you healthy. With just a few simple ingredients, you’ll have your own bottle of fire cider ready in no time.

4.49 from 29 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Infusion Time 28 days d 5 minutes mins

Total Time 28 days d 15 minutes mins

Course Preserved

Cuisine American

Servings 32

Calories 16 kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup chopped ginger
  • ½ cup chopped turmeric
  • ½ cup cranberries halved
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 10 garlic cloves diced
  • 2 habaneros sliced
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500 ml raw apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Begin by choosing your ingredients. My favorite blend so far has been 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped ginger, 1/2 cup chopped turmeric, 1/2 cup chopped cranberries, 1 organic lemon chopped, 10 garlic cloves, 2 habaneros sliced, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 sprig of thyme, 1 cinnamon stick.

  • Layer the prepared ingredients in a large glass jar, a quart jar works wonderfully.

  • Pour raw apple cider vinegar over the fire cider ingredients until just covered. Use a fermentation weight, a piece of parchment paper, or a ziplock baggie filled with vinegar.

  • Cover the jar with an airtight lid and place it somewhere you'll see it daily to observe and to shake or swish daily or a couple of times a day but keep it away from direct sunlight. A bright spot in your kitchen is fine, but directly near a window is not.

  • Allow the ingredients to steep in the apple cider vinegar for at least 4 weeks.

  • Strain the liquid from the solids and transfer it to a clean jar. If you plan on using the fire cider straight, it can be sweetened slightly with high-quality local honey or maple syrup to taste.

  • Store your fire cider in a cool place, I like to store it in the fridge.

Notes

Disclaimer:This article does NOT constitute medical advice, diagnostic advice, or treatment advice, as I am not a medical professional or certified herbalist. The information within this article is for entertainment purposes. Always use sound judgment and seek guidance from your doctor before using herbal or natural remedies.

what to do with the pulp?

The main goal of Master Tonic is the infused vinegar, but that doesn't mean that the pulp is worthless! That pulp just spent 4 weeks being infused with all the good things inside of the vinegar – it is equally valuable – though many seem to skip over that!

Here's some ideas on how to use your pulp:

  • feed it to your backyard flock! My birds LOVE a little treat of finely diced pulp here and there.
  • dehydrate it and grind it into a powder to use as a seasoning, I also do this with myDILL PICKLE HOT SAUCEpulp!
  • my friend freeze-dries hers and fills capsules so she can take it even after the fire cider is gone.
  • freeze it in small portions and add it to stir-fries or salads.

Batch:

A quart-sized jar filled with chopped ingredients and topped off with apple cider vinegar will yield right around 500 ml or 2 cups of fire cider.

Storage:

I like to keep my fire in the fridge in a pint-sized mason jar, that said, it can be store in a cool dark place with an airtight lid for up to 12 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 16kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 0.2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.005gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 36mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.1mg

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Sources

[1] Fire Cider: https://freefirecider.com/rosemarys-story/

[2] Rosemary Gladstar: https://scienceandartofherbalism.com/about-rosemary-gladstar/

[3] Apple Cider Vinegar: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/exploring-the-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/

[4] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 275: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[5] Staying Healthy With Nutrition – Elson Haas MD Page 318: https://amzn.to/3BGqGhN

[6] Garlic: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/

[7] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest Page 169: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[8] Allicin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6271412/

[9] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 255: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[10] Anti-inflammatory + Antioxidant: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7919894/

[11] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 219: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[12] Staying Healthy With Nutrition – Elson Haas MD Page 305: https://amzn.to/3BGqGhN

[13] The Complete Medicinal Herbal Page 115: https://amzn.to/3Wu3eMK

[14] Ginger: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/

[15] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 120: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[16] Cranberries: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35268605/

[17] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 323: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[18] The Complete Medicinal Herbal Page 104: https://amzn.to/3Wu3eMK

[19] The Complete Medicinal Herbal Page 92: https://amzn.to/3Wu3eMK

[20] The Complete Medicinal Herbal Page 48: https://amzn.to/3Wu3eMK

[21] Cinnamon: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-cinnamon/

[22] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 372: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[23] Staying Healthy With Nutrition – Elson Haas MD Page 253: https://amzn.to/3BGqGhN

[24] Staying Healthy With Nutrition – Elson Haas MD Page 256: https://amzn.to/3BGqGhN

[25] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 361: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[26] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 361: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[27] The Complete Medicinal Herbal Page 136: https://amzn.to/3Wu3eMK

[28] North American Folk Healing – Reader’s Digest page 341: https://amzn.to/3WrHktH

[29] Horseradish: https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-horseradish

[30] Black Pepper: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-black-pepper/

Traditional Fire Cider {Easy Homemade Recipe} - Crave The Good (2024)
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