herbal remedies

Easy Fire Cider Recipe

Fire Cider is a traditional folk tonic recipe (popularized by Rosemary Gladstar) made with stewed apple cider vinegar. It is a potent (and spicy) tonic that has been used by generations as a herbal remedy to keep sickness away and boost immunity. 

  • What is fire cider? 
  • The best fire cider recipe
  • How to use fire cider (including in your bloody mary)


Don’t let the name of this tonic scare you away just yet.  Read about the amazing immune boosting qualities this fire cider can bring to your herbal remedy collection below. 

What is

fire cider

Renowned as a folk remedy for generations, fire cider is one of many natural remedies that has tons of health benefits that help ward off winter colds, flus, congestion, etc. This herbal tonic is known to help fight the common cold and flu. Some also believe it helps your body digest food properly.

Indigenous healers have been brewing herbal vinegars for a long time. It has been said that humans have been making vinegars for as along as 10,000 years ago and using it for foods, drinks, preservation, and medical purposes. 

So how do we tap into our indigenous healer roots and get in on this healing vinegar concoction? It is actually quite simple and takes no time at all!

What is Fire Cider Made of?

The best part of fire cider tonic is that it is made to your taste and can be made differently every time; an “empty your refrigerator” or “use what you have” kind of recipe. Fire cider ingredients start with raw apple cider vinegar and then you add in ingredients like horseradish, garlic onion ginger, peppers, citrus fruits, etc. Local honey is a great way to sweeten your fire cider tonic. 

What is fire cider used for and fire cider benefits

In our house, we use fire cider to help reduce cold symptoms, release sinus congestion and improve immune system support. During cold and flu season, we make fire cider to have on hand given the health benefits it provides. With apple cider vinegar as the base, it is no surprise that some use this for weight management.

Alternatively, homemade fire cider is a GREAT spicy additive to a bloody mary cocktail and can add that extra kick to your brunch beverage.

kitchen recipes



  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup grated horseradish
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 whole cinnamon stick, star anise or cloves (your preference)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 sliced jalapeno, or cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup honey (or maple syrup), to taste
  • ½ cup ginger, grated
  • ½ grapefruit
  • ½ lemon
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh turmeric, peeled and diced


  1. Place all of the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices (everything except the honey) in one jar. Fill a clean jar with apple cider vinegar. 

  2. Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar until it covers everything by an inch or two. Seal the cap tightly. No metal caps, plastic lids only! If your cap has metal parts, screw the lid on over a piece of natural parchment paper, or plastic bag to prevent the cap from corroding.

  3. SHAKE!

  4. Let sit for a few weeks to soak. Shake daily or whenever you remember.

  5. After a few weeks of sitting in a cool place, strain out the plant materials in a fine mesh strainer. Sweeten with the honey to desired sweetness. 

  6. Store your finished fire cider in a cool place with your other vinegars for up to a few months, or store in the fridge for up to a year. Add honey or fresh horseradish when pulling it back out for extra zest.

How long does homemade fire cider last?

Storing your fire cider is easy and can use the “set it and forget it” method (except don’t forget about it!). Fire Cider can last in your pantry next to your other vinegars for several months. To maintain freshness for longer, I store mine in the fridge for up to a year. 

products for making fire cider

SPECIALTY PRODUCTS for making the best fire cider

Can you drink fire cider straight?

Yes, you can drink fire cider straight after it is infused. One to two ounces of fire cider can be taken in “shot” form.

How to store fire cider?

After straining your fire cider through a sieve or strainer, store in an airtight container or mason jar inside your refrigerator. Homemade fire cider can last a few weeks to a few months in the fridge.

the fun part!

How to Use Fire Cider

  • Drink 1-2 tablespoons up to four times a day to keep illness away or speed up recovering from a sickness. Dilute with water, lemonade, or juice to make it more palatable. 

  • Gargle at the first sign of a scratchy throat. Pro tip: add a little fresh horseradish to really zap that soreness away.

  • Use fire cider as a part of a mixer for a cocktail or mocktail. Fire cider is a great (and healthy) way to spice up a bloody mary. To really add some flavor, add in some fresh herbs with your fire cider or fresh ginger to boost your brunch cocktail.

  • Combine with salad dressings or marinade in the kitchen. Or dip your bread into fire cider like you would a balsamic vinegar! Add raw honey to sweeten your fire cider recipe up a bit.

  • Add to a stir fry or drizzle over a bed of vegetables. Have extra fire cider, use it as your base in fried rice.

  • Add to soups or chili. 

  • Gift fire cider as a holiday gift! Check out the customizable labels and adorable jars below to make an amazing holiday gift with this immune boosting recipe. 

Basically anytime you use a vinegar while cooking, this homemade fire cider can be used in place of a normal vinegar and adds an immune boosting quality to any meal. So what are you waiting for? Start making your own fire cider right now and be prepared for the next flu season and that extra added immune support.


Did you make fire cider? We would love to see what ingredients you out in your homemade fire cider? Share them with us on instagram @homestead.onthehill

*Disclaimer: This information in this post is not intended or should not be used in place of a medical professional’s advice. All information is my own opinion. Always research each herb you choose for personal safety concerns before using them. Please consult with a medical professional or do your own extensive research if you are worried or concerned about any of the ingredients or opinions expressed.

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