Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

My homemade fire cider recipe is sure to help you fight inflammation, knock out a cold and stimulate digestion, all in one swoop! Fire cider is super easy to make and is an incredible tonic that is revered in the herbal medicine community.

Elderberry syrup and Fermented Honey Garlic seems to steal all of the press regarding cold and flu season, but as a functional medicine dietitian, I think that fire cider takes the cake! There really isn’t anything that fire cider won’t help with.

Let’s dive in!

Fire cider in a mason jar sitting on a wooden cutting board

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products (including Amazon). I’ll earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my link, at no additional cost to you! Regardless, I only link to products that I personally use on our homestead or believe in.

What is Fire Cider?

Fire cider is an herbal medicine remedy that was first coined by Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970s and is popular in many homes today. Fire cider is an infusion of potent ingredients like onion, garlic, thyme, turmeric, and cayenne (just to name a few!) in a base of raw apple cider vinegar, then sweetened slightly with raw honey.

The resulting tonic is fiery, zesty, and pungent. Whew! It sure will wake you up in the morning, but as you’ll see in the next section, ALL of the health benefits are so worth the kick!

Fire cider ingredients laid out on a wooden cutting board

Health Benefits of My Fire Cider Recipe

As a functional medicine dietitian, I understand nutrition on a deep level and have given the traditional fire cider recipe my own spin to make it the most therapeutic recipe out there. 

Each ingredient in my fire cider recipe has been carefully selected to provide the maximum health benefits. I know that you’re going to love it!

What’s in there?

  • Onion – Loaded with 17 different flavonoids (active components in plants) that exhibit significant antioxidant and anti-neuroinflammatory properties (Li, 2020).
  • Lemon & Orange – Citrus fruits contain lots of immune-boosting vitamin C, plus the powerful flavonoid naringenin, which has antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects while also protecting against cardiovascular disease and obesity (Selehi, 2019)
  • Garlic – Garlic has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties while preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, lipid abnormalities, metabolic disorders, skin, bone, and other common diseases (Ansary, 2020).
  • Jalapeno & cayenne – They might burn, but they are literally a lifesaver! A 2017 study found that the consumption of hot chili peppers was associated with a 13% reduction in mortality. Plus, they are high in vitamin C for an extra immune boost (Olatunji, 2018)!
  • Ginger root – Improves digestion, nausea, and vomiting, while also providing anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties (Bischoff-Kont, 2021)
  • Horseradish root – As a brassica, horseradish contains the active compound sinigrin, which is known for its anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, plus wound healing (Mazumder, 2016)!
  • Turmeric root – Well-known for its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer properties. It’s more potent than any other medicinal herb to kill off H. Pylori infections (Aggarwal, 2011)!
  • Thyme – Thyme is amazing! It is full of anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, while also being an expectorant (great when you’re sick!). It can even protect the liver and fight against acne (Silva, 2021)
  • Oregano – Boasts anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties while reducing pain and improving gut health. It’s even a great food preservative, making your fire cider last as long as possible (Veenstra, 2019). 
  • Black Peppercorn – Contains the active compound piperine that has anti-inflammatory effects, anti-psychotic and anti-cancer effects (Yang, 2018). Plus, black pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%, so we definitely want it in there!
  • Raw apple cider vinegar – Has anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-oxidant properties (Tripathi, 2022). It’s also a great digestive support!
  • Raw, local honey – Contains potent flavonoids and phenolic acids that have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic effects. It also serves to protect the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems (Cianciosi, 2018).

Fire Cider Recipe

Ready to make some immune-boosting, inflammation-fighting, health-promoting fire cider? Grab your ingredients and let’s do this!

Tools

The Homesteading RD's Product Picks:

Features 12 wide-mouth mason jar lids that are PERFECT for freezing! Made of rust-free & toxin-free stainless steel with a silicone lining. No plastic! Provides an air-tight seal and are build to last.

Case of 12 wide-mouth, quart-size glass mason jars, lids, and bands for home canning and preserving. Made in USA! High-quality and made to last.

Fire Cider Ingredients 

*Fire cider is a loose term and the ingredients can be adjusted. If you don’t have a few of these items, or want to add something else, feel free to do that! Choose organic ingredients, when possible

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ lemon, chopped
  • ½ orange, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced – can substitute habaneros for an extra kick
  • ¼ cup Ginger root, coarsely grated (no need to peel if organic!)
  • ¼ cup horseradish root, coarsely grated (no need to peel if organic!)
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric root, coarsely grated (no need to peel if organic!) – or 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme – or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped – or 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 ½ cups raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, warmed slightly
  • ¼ cup raw, local honey – or to taste
  • ¼ tsp cayenne powder – or to taste

How to Make My Fire Cider Recipe

Step 1: Prepare fresh ingredients and add to a 1-quart mason jar

Start by chopping the onion, lemon, and orange and add to the 1-quart mason jar. Then, slice and add the garlic and jalapeno peppers. 

Next, coarsely grate the ginger, horseradish, and turmeric roots and add them to the jar. We don’t have to waste time peeling these because we’ll strain out all of the solids in the end! However, if they aren’t organic, I DO recommend peeling them.

Lastly, chop the oregano measure and add the fresh (or dried) herbs and spices to the jar. Press the contents down or switch to a half-gallon mason jar if your jar is getting full. Don’t add the cayenne yet! 

Chopped fire cider ingredients packed into a jar

Step 2: Add the apple cider vinegar to the jar

Once the jar is filled with the vegetables, herbs, and spices, it’s time to add the slightly warmed apple cider vinegar. I like to place the bottle next to our wood stove for a few hours. Warming the vinegar enables it to draw out more of the beneficial properties of the herbs.

Pour it in until the solids are covered by at least 1 inch. Use a chopstick to poke around and remove any trapped air bubbles.

Mason jar filled with fire cider ingredients and apple cider vinegar

Step 3: Add a corrosion-resistant lid and let sit for 3-4 weeks

While you can technically add a standard canning lid, it will rust over due to exposure to the acidic apple cider vinegar. You can avoid this by using a corrosion-resistant, stainless steel lid. I love to use these when freezing in mason jars, too!

The Homesteading RD's Product Picks:

Features 12 wide-mouth mason jar lids that are PERFECT for freezing! Made of rust-free & toxin-free stainless steel with a silicone lining. No plastic! Provides an air-tight seal and are build to last.

Place the jar in a dark location (your cupboard is fine!) and shake daily, if possible. Monitor the apple cider vinegar level throughout the process and top it off, if necessary.

Step 4: Give it a final shake, then strain out the solids 

After 3-4 weeks, give it one last shake and then strain out the solids. Squeeze the solids to get every last bit of fire cider out of there. Return the strained liquid to the quart mason jar. Discard the solids into your compost pile!

A strainer sitting on top of a measuring cup to strain out the fire cider solids

Step 5: Mix in raw honey and cayenne

Now, we play with some sweetness and spice until it tastes how you want it. Start by mixing in 1 Tbsp of honey and ⅛ tsp of cayenne powder, then taste. Keep increasing the amounts until it reaches a pungent, lively point that is slightly mellowed out by the honey.

A 1/8 tsp full of cayenne powder held over a glass measuring cup with fire cider

Step 6: Store in the refrigerator

Once you’re happy with the mixture, cap the mason jar with the same corrosion-resistant stainless steel lid. Place in the refrigerator and use within 6 months. You can leave this in your cupboard, but it may not last the full 6 months.

Finished fire cider in a mason jar sitting on a kitchen island

Fire Cider Recipe Variations

This recipe is completely flexible! Use what you have on hand and what fits your taste preferences.

Do I have to add honey?

Nope! Honey provides some medicinal value, but it is not necessary. Most people prefer it because it cuts the spice and mellows it the mixture out a bit. Experiment with your ratios until you find one that you like best.

New fire cider ingredients to try

  • Cinnamon stick
  • Whole cloves
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Lime, sliced
  • Stinging nettle
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Elderberries
  • Habaneros – for an extra kick!

FAQ About My Fire Cider Recipe

How do I use fire cider?

  • Most common: 1-2 Tbsp each morning in a shot glass (it will wake you up!)
  • Add to salad dressings 
  • Dilute it in a warm cup of water, tea, or apple cider
  • Add to marinades or sauces
    Drizzle on sautéed vegetables for an extra kick!
  • Add to my Roasted Swede Soup (the flavors would mix really well!)

How to store fire cider?

Fire cider can technically be left in a dark location like your pantry. However, for best results (and maximum shelf life), I would keep it in the fridge or root cellar.

How long does homemade fire cider last?

At least 6 months in the fridge. Some say up to a year!

Can you drink fire cider straight?

Absolutely! Most people take it in a shot glass in the morning. If it’s a bit intense for you (or if you’re worried about the enamel on your teeth), consider diluting it in warm water, tea, or salad dressing.

How much fire cider should I drink a day?

1-2 Tbsp each morning is the most common. You can increase to 2-3 times a day if you feel a cold coming on. However, please use caution and do your own research. This is not medical advice and please consult with your care provider if you have concerns.

Can I make a bigger batch of fire cider?

If you’re loving it or want to make it in bulk for gifts, simply switch to a half gallon mason jar and double the ingredients. Everything should fit nicely!

Is fire cider safe during pregnancy?

Fire cider has not been tested during pregnancy. There is some potential concern over using raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. You could consider using pasteurized apple cider vinegar to avoid this risk.

*As always, please speak with your care provider or midwife before consuming.

Can I buy fire cider?

Yes, there are several brands out there that offer pre-made fire cider for you (below is my favorite one). This might be a great place to start if you want to try it out before committing to making a whole batch!

The Homesteading RD's Product Picks:

Don't have time to make your own fire cider? No worries! Tough Mother has done a fantastic job making it for you with 100% organic ingredients. The recipe is very similar to mine!

Other Articles You’ll Love

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoy my Homemade Fire Cider Recipe! It’s a fun one to make and I know you’ll appreciate the health benefits. Be well! 

Thanks for reading signature

Fire cider in a mason jar sitting on a wooden cutting board

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

My homemade fire cider recipe is sure to fight inflammation, knock out a cold and stimulate digestion, all in one swoop!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Infusion time 21 days
Total Time 21 days 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 32 servings
Calories 18 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ onion chopped
  • ½ lemon chopped
  • ½ orange chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers sliced (can substitute habaneros for an extra kick!)
  • ¼ cup ginger root coarsely grated (no need to peel if organic!)
  • ¼ cup horseradish root coarsely grated (no need to peel if organic!)
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric root coarsely grated (no need to peel if organic!); or 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano chopped (or 2 tsp dried oregano)
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 ½ cups raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar warmed slightly
  • ¼ cup raw, local honey or to taste
  • ¼ tsp cayenne powder or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Chop, slice and grate the fresh ingredients and add them to the 1 quart mason jar. We don’t have to waste time peeling the roots because we’ll strain out all of the solids in the end! However, if they aren’t organic, I DO recommend peeling them. Don't add the cayenne or honey yet!
  • Add the slightly warmed apple cider vinegar until the solids are covered by at least 1". Warming the vinegar enables it to draw out more beneficial properties of the herbs.
  • Cover with a corrosion-resistant, stainless steel lid. While you can technically add a standard canning lid, it will rust over due to exposure to the acidic apple cider vinegar.
  • Place in a dark location for 3-4 weeks and shake the mixture daily. Monitor the apple cider vinegar level throughout the process and top it off, if necessary.
  • After 3-4 weeks, give it one last shake and then strain out the solids. Squeeze the solids to get every last bit of fire cider out of there.
  • Start by mixing in 1 Tbsp of honey and ⅛ tsp of cayenne powder, then taste. Keep increasing the amounts until it reaches a pungent, lively point that is slightly mellowed out by the honey.
  • Place in the refrigerator and use within 6 months. You can leave this in your cupboard, but it may not last the full 6 months.

Notes

*If you want to make a bigger batch in a 1/2 gallon mason jar, simply double the ingredients

Nutrition

Serving: 1TbspCalories: 18kcalCarbohydrates: 4gSodium: 12mgPotassium: 46mgSugar: 3gVitamin A: 37IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 8mgIron: -3mg
Keyword apple cider vinegar, fire cider, herbal medicine, immune support, tonic, turmeric
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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15 thoughts on “Homemade Fire Cider Recipe”

  1. I just made my first batch but I am wondering about some thing? Since it’s essentially “fermenting“ do I need to burp it every couple of days or just leave the lid on and check the apple cider vinegar level throughout? I just don’t want any exploding mason jars. Thanks

  2. 5 stars
    This looks like exactly what I need to make when feeling under the weather! Love all the ingredients and I’m really curious to try it. Thanks for the great overview and health details. Pinning to make soon!

  3. I am so glad to have found your post. I have never heard of fire cider, but I am aware of many of the natural healing elements to some of the ingredients in this recipe. I cannot wait to make this! Thanks for sharing!

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