Fire Cider is easy to make, fabulously healing and sooOooOOoooo delicious! We enjoy fire cider as both food and medicine, savoring it in salad dressings, tea (instead of a squeeze of lemon) as well as dropped under our tongues, all the more for a serious boost of immunity. Experiment! Explore! Play! This is what healing looks (and tastes!) like, especially shared with your beloved community.
10 to 30 minutes prep; 1 month to infuse
A vessel (a wide-mouth mason jar is ideal), cutting board, sharp knife, plastic gloves (to protect your fingers from the capsaicin in the hot peppers, especially if you’re making a lot of them and/or the peppers are *hot* peppers), a label for your vessel and wax paper to protect your jar lid from the vinegar’s acid.
Ingredients of Fire Cider
- Raw apple cider vinegar – enough to cover ingredients below. Probiotic, alkalizing, antimicrobial
- ginger – leave the skin on if it’s organic, add turmeric if you’ve got it! Warming, stimulates circulation & breaks up congestion
- garlic – chopped and let rest 15 min for immune-enhancing allicin to form
- onion – yellow or red; shallots and leeks are great, as well. Antimicrobial antibacterial, antiviral, immune-enhancing, anti-inflammatory
- horseradish stimulates digestive fire, promotes perspiration & mildly antibacterial
- hot peppers – the spicy capsaicin increases circulation
- vitamin c – citrus is common, rose hips & pine needles are abundant, local & delicious. Immune-enhancing.
- honey – raw is best. Antimicrobial, antiseptic
- any food-as-medicine herb you lean into to increase circulation & boost immunity, like thyme & oregano, both antimicrobial & anti-inflammatory
We also love to add immune supporting mushrooms such as Reishi, Turkey Tail, or Maitake as well as calendula flowers for lymphatic support, first year burdock roots for nourishment and nettle leaf for a mineralizing boost, inspired by our dear Friend and herbal mentor Geraldine Lavin of Suntrap Botanical.
Real Talk on Proportions: Each of us is unique and each fire cider is unique; no one knows you better than you! If you love ginger, go heavy on the ginger. If you don’t love capsaicin spice, go light or leave it out. Consider making several fire ciders with differing proportions to experience the unique healing they all impart.
How to Make Fire Cider
1. Chop or Grate: All your ingredients and place them into your vessel. Cut into large and/or small pieces, uniform or not; we do it a little differently each time & there’s no one way. The smaller you chop, the more can fit in your vessel! Resist adding the honey yet.
2. Infuse: Pour apple cider vinegar over all your ingredients with at least one half-inch of extra vinegar on top. Store at room temp for at least 1 month. Taste as you go! The flavors will deepen and intensify with more time.
3. Strain & add Honey: After 1 month, strain the herbs from the liquid. Add warm raw honey to taste! Your fire cider can live on the shelf or in the fridge. Optional: cover your ingredients with more apple cider vinegar and blend smooth to savor every molecule.
~ enjoy! ~
Fire Cider Wisdom
~ from our dear Friend and herbal mentor Geraldine Lavin of Suntrap Botanical ~
The recipe for fire cider bends and shifts from herbalist to herbalist and season to season, based on what is abundant. The general rule is vinegar & honey infused with aromatic, pungent, antiviral roots and fruits. Just about every community apothecary is stocked with fire cider because it is so good at what it is intended to do: ward off colds & the flu. Additionally, fire cider makes an effective digestive & circulatory tonic when taken regularly.
Even though fire cider is a strong tasting medicine, its ingredients are gentle and tonic enough that it straddles the line between Food & Medicine. It is wonderfully easy to incorporate into meals and beverages. Some folks like to take a shot of straight fire cider for a quick immune boost. Finding that a bit intense, I take a tablespoon in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning during times of high stress & lowered immunity. I’ll also add fire cider to salad dressings and pureed soups. You can get creative with how you take this traditional tonic, just make sure to give it a good shake before you do.
Happy Fire Cider making, Friends! We make about two gallons of Fire Cider each autumn so we have plenty to enjoy as a daily tonic as well as an abundance to share with our community. We love tucking beautiful two-ounce bottles into the hands of our beloveds both in sickness and in health. This is part of the medicine, it’s true! As always, we are inspired by our 400-year-old mentors and plants and these words from Robin Wall Kimmerer:
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to “those who take care of us.”
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,
& the whole Fruition crew
Also, to learn about the recently won fight to keep “Fire Cider” a generic term for all to use, check out: https://freefirecider.com/ // Traditions not Trademarks!
And here is a deep dive of making fire cider with Geraldine of Suntrap Botanical, recorded just before a presidential election as a deep meditation and prayer for democracy: