This one? “I don’t know what you’re making in here, but it smells disgusting.”
Because, well, fire cider.
If you’re new to fire cider, I’m betting that this probably isn’t the most compelling sales pitch ever. But this witchy, pungent infusion is an incredible seasonal immune tonic. And funky scent or not, I’m betting that’s something we all could use in spades right now.
To set the record straight, Sage despises apple cider vinegar in any form. So that’s the main bit of trouble with fire cider for him. Layer over that the smell of sliced, fresh horseradish punching him in the nose when he walked in the room, and he just couldn’t do it. To me, on the other hand, it smells delicious, nourishing, and like fierce immunity magic in a jar.
Which, of course, it is.
Made with fresh onions and garlic, horseradish and aromatics, fire cider is spirited, spicy, pungent, and warming. This immune-supporting marvel is made with fresh herbs and aromatics, it’s just the kick our bodies need to stay healthy during this most challenging time. It takes just minutes to prep enough to last the winter, with extra bottles to pass along to friends. Will you make a big batch this weekend to share with those you love?
Don’t wait. Make it now, and it won’t be ready until early December.
Don’t let the specific ingredients or quantities listed in the recipe below limit your creative flex.
If you’re out of cayenne and want to add fresh chilis (like I did in the jar pictured below), go for it. If you’re vegan and want to sub maple for honey, knock yourself out. If you’re not eating alliums, cut them from the list; then boost the quantities of the other ingredients a bit to make up for the missing oniony-punch.
Because every herbalist has their own favorite fire cider formula, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. This recipe just happens to be mine.
Homemade Fire Cider Recipe
Makes approximately 3 pints
- ¼ cup chopped fresh ginger root (approximately 1 oz.)
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh horseradish root
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (approximately ½ cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried cayenne powder
- 2 tbsp rose hips (optional)
- 2 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp dried sage
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 3 cups (plus extra if needed) organic raw apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon (at bottling time)
Place finely chopped or grated vegetables, and dried herbs in a quart-sized mason jar. Add honey, then top off with enough apple cider vinegar to fill the jar to just above the shoulders (approximately 3 cups).
Stir well, then cover with a plastic lid or a metal lid lined with waxed paper or a food-grade plastic bag.
Infuse for 4 weeks in a cool, dark place, shaking gently once a week, or any time you think of it.
After 4 weeks pour your fire cider through a cheesecloth-lined colander and transfer liquid to a clean mason jar. Add lemon juice, and label with date and contents. Stored in the refrigerator, Fire Cider will keep for at least 1 year.
Take 1 tsp to 1 tbsp daily for adults; ½ to 1 tsp for children, throughout cold and flu season. Stir into a cup of room temperature water, cold juice, or (for the bravest among us!) take right from the spoon or shot glass.
Fire Cider may cause stomach upset in people with heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion.
And finally, my (and most of the world’s) inspiration for my fire cider recipe is the lovely Rosemary. If you’d enjoy a how-to video of this simple process, her’s is below. I adore Rosemary, and if you don’t already, this video should be all that it takes for you to join me in the herb-nerd fan club.
Now get busy and make a quart or two for yourself, your family, your friends, and your neighborhood!
Together, we can find our way back to our roots, back to handmade and homemade, back to effective remedies made from what we have.
Be well, friends. We’re all in this together.