I am a giant baby when it comes to spice. Actually ‘spice’ flavor like ginger I love, but once you get into the realm of hot peppers and hot sauce I tap out. So originally when I heard the term ‘Fire Cider’ I automatically said ‘NOPE’ and didn’t pay much mind to it. However, when my mom who is a naturopathic doctor and an herbalist mentioned it again I got curious. It turns out that it is an incredibly potent herbal tonic that supports your immune system! So, begrudgingly, I decided it was a great thing to make, and a wonderful accompaniment to the elderberry syrup that I make to keep myself healthy during flu season as well!
I expected fire cider to taste just as it sounds- similar to apple cider but with intense heat that I knew I could only handle a tiny bit at a time. However, what I didn’t know is that fire cider is actually such a fluid recipe. You can add and take away whichever extra elements you want! So for this recipe, I kept so many of the healing botanics, added some of my own, and omitted the ‘pepper’ spice, and thus ended up with a healing tonic that not only was super strong but also tasted amazing! My daily one to two ounce shot would be simple to take!
Fire Cider Ingredient Properties
Originally Fire Cider was concocted in the 70’s by renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar (you might know her as the woman who started Traditional Medicinals as well) but has since been adapted innumerable times across the United States and the world. But the base remains the same. Horseradish, ginger, onions, and garlic infused into apple cider vinegar. I’ll do a quick breakdown of the recipe my mom and I created and why I used the ingredients I did below!
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is a great digestive aid, especially when the ‘mother’ is included. The ‘mother’ is made up of friendly bacteria, enzymes and proteins similar to what you’d find in kombucha! Vinegar can also help kill off pathogens adding to its potency
Cloves have been shown to have antimicrobial properties! During the time of the bubonic plague doctors and thieves alike used clove essential oil to cover their hands, feet, and masks over their face to prevent infection.
The allicin in garlic (a sulfur compound that is created when you crush garlic) is known for boosting immunity, being an anti-inflammatory, and is anti-bacterial.
Ginger root is wonderful for soothing an upset stomach and is also a wonderful anti-inflammatory.
Horseradish is a wonderful way to help with breathing while feeling ill. It helps open up your airways by relieving congestion.
Lemon is high in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and is a natural antibacterial and detoxifying agent.
Onions are in the same family as garlic and have lots of the same properties, so are wonderful for helping to fight cold and flu.
Oranges are high in lots of vitamins, especially Vitamin C, and are chock full of antioxidants.
Black pepper is rich in vitamins and minerals, is anti-inflammatory, and can enhance nutrient absorption.
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, both taste-wise and in herbalism! It is well known for aiding brain health, but it is also wonderful for digestion, anti-inflammatory properties, and promoting circulation.
Fire Cider Recipe ingredients
1 Cup Grated Ginger Root
1/2 Cup Grated Horseradish Root
1/2 Onion, Chopped
1 Head of Garlic, Crushed
1 Lemon, Chopped
1 Orange, Chopped
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
1 Tbs Whole Cloves
1 Tbs Black Peppercorns
Enough Apple Cider Vinegar to fill your tonic vessel
Fire Cider Instructions
1 The making of fire cider is simple! Start out by prepping all of your produce, either chopping, crushing, or grating as instructed in the ingredients list.
2 Layer each of your ingredients in a large glass jar, making sure to leave enough space at the top of the jar to be able to completely cover your produce with the ACV and room for mixing!
3 Pour apple cider vinegar over your chopped produce to submerge. Then take a square of parchment paper larger than the opening of your jar, place it between your lid and the jar, and then screw your jar lid on.
4 Fire Cider takes 3-4 weeks to infuse, I prefer a month! Each day you can flip the jar and swirl to help mix the ingredients as they infuse.
5 Once your month is over, strain the solids and save the liquid in an airtight container. At this point many people like to add one half cup of honey to sweeten and thicken the fire cider. I don’t find this to my taste, but honey is great for your health as well!
Completed Fire Cider
Now your fire cider is complete! Depending on how the fire cider tastes to you, you can take it daily by either taking a one to two ounce shot of straight of the tonic, or you can dilute in water and sip that way! I personally think that with the rosemary, cloves, and ginger it tastes wonderful. When my mom and I tried our first batch I thought it would be a great cocktail mixer! Not the health benefit we are going for, but definitely a testament to the taste! I’d love to know if you end up making your own version of fire cider (or mine!) Let me know over on Instagram!
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