Fire cider is a vinegar tonic that combines unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and herbs. This potent flavoured vinegar is a great way to jazz up a meal by drizzling it on salads or roasted vegetables, or adding to marinades and sauces—plus, it offers a myriad of health benefits.
What is fire cider?
Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar is known for crafting the original recipe after being inspired by folk medicine and other vinegar remedies. Her recipe includes apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, ginger, horseradish, and honey. This herbal vinegar allows for improvisation and lends itself to wonderful variations, depending on what inspires you; it can also be as simple as using whatever you have on hand. There have been numerous versions created by herbalists and fans alike since Gladstar’s debut concoction; as an ode to fire cider, Gladstar recently published a book with a collection of distinct recipes to highlight how versatile and creative you can be when making this healthful tonic.
Among the herbalist community, fire cider is regarded as a wonderful remedy to help boost the immune system, especially during the winter months. Some people take fire cider daily, either as a shot or mixed with water to mellow out the intense flavour.
What are the benefits of fire cider?
Fire cider combines many ingredients that offer great health benefits.
Apple cider vinegar can help control your blood sugar. Garlic is an all-around immune-booster with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that help fight infection. Ginger is good for digestion and warding off infection. Horseradish clears sinus congestion and has antibacterial properties. Thyme is an immune-booster with antibacterial and antiviral properties, and also relaxes the nervous system and eases indigestion. Honey can help improve cholesterol. Cayenne is good for the circulatory system. Rosemary is great for circulation and has antidepressant properties. Black pepper is antioxidant-rich.
How do you make fire cider?
You’ll need a bit of patience and time, because after combining ingredients, they need to macerate or soak for about a month. This allows the properties to be extracted into the vinegar, creating a spicy, hot, pungent, and sweet taste.
- 1 quart unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
- 2 inches fresh horseradish, grated
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 tablespoons dried
- 1 tablespoon organic local honey
- 1 fresh or dried cayenne pepper, or ½ teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
- 3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs, or 2 tablespoons dried (optional)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (optional)
- In a quart glass jar, combine all of the dry ingredients.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar overtop and cover or seal the jar.
- Let the ingredients macerate for three to four weeks. You can either stir or shake daily, or leave the jar alone until it’s ready.
- When about a month has passed, strain the cider into glass jars or bottles. Make sure to also squeeze out the liquid that has soaked into the ingredients. Compost the remains.
- Mix in the honey to add a bit of sweetness that will subdue the intensity.
- Take a spoonful or add a drizzle whenever you want a little boost.