Recipe: How to Make Fire Cider

July 10, 2020 Julie Herbst, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, CD


With its garlicky heat and vibrant flavor, fire cider is a traditional tonic that may help to boost the immune system and support your health through the various seasons. And it is super simple to make -all you need is a handful of ingredients, apple cider vinegar, and honey.


Prep Time: 5 min

Maceration: 30 days

Total Time: 30 days 5 min

Servings: 16 servings (1 pint)


  • 3 ounces diced ginger root
  • 3 ounces diced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 ounces garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 ounce diced horseradish
  • 1 1/2 ounces chopped fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey


  • 1 quart jar


  1. Layer the ginger, onion, garlic, horseradish and jalapeño into a quart-sized jar with the star anise and cinnamon stick. Cover with apple cider vinegar, adding additional vinegar to cover the contents of the jar as necessary.
  2. Seal the jar, and store it away from direct sunlight at least 1 month and up to 6 weeks. Shake daily.
  3. Strain the vinegar, discarding the solids. Next, stir in the honey until fully dissolved. Store at room temperature up to 6 months and in the fridge up to 18 months.


Herbs in Fire Cider

Fire Cider depends upon five dominant herbs including ginger, onion, garlic, horseradish and hot chilies like cayenne. In addition, many home herbalists add turmeric, which is strongly anti-inflammatory, rosemary, which has anti-microbial properties and is a restorative tonic, or cinnamon, for its warmth. You can also include star anise which has a sweet, soothing quality.

When you make fire cider, you’ll also add apple cider vinegar and honey. Apple cider vinegar acts as an excellent digestive aid which helps to extract the medicinal compounds of the herbs. Honey helps soothe the body, making the tonic more palatable and helping buffer the intensity of the herbs.

  • Fresh Ginger is a warming herb with antiviral properties.
  • Onion is a folk remedy for colds and flu, and is particularly rich in quercetin which is strongly anti-inflammatory.
  • Garlic is traditionally used to ease colds and upper respiratory tract infections, and has antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
  • Horseradish is an excellent remedy for clearing the sinuses.
  • Hot Pepper are warming herbs that support circulation and are traditionally taken at the onset of a cold.

How much should you take?

Most people take one or two tablespoons of fire cider at a time, often diluted in water or tea. Many herbalists recommend taking a shot every 3 to 4 hours if you feel a cold coming on.

However, more than a remedy, fire cider is also an excellent food – a delicious, spicy sweet-tart tonic that you can use in place of other vinegars in vinaigrettes and other culinary preparations. Accordingly, it’s a great way to consistently consume medicinal herbs regularly.

  • As a wellness shot. Take a tablespoon or two straight.
  • In herbal teas. Swirl a tablespoon into hot lemon-ginger tea.
  • As a vinaigrette. Use fire cider in place of apple cider vinegar in your vinaigrette recipe – like this classic maple vinaigrette.
  • Sprinkle it over roasted vegetables. Roasted vegetables, especially earthy root vegetables, benefit from the brightness of apple cider vinegar and the zip of fire cider.
  • Swirl some in soups or stews. It’s excellent drizzled over lentil stew with a little sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil.


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