This spicy hot deliciously sweet vinegar tonic was first concocted in the kitchen at the California School of Herbal Studies in the early 1980s by Rosemary Gladwell. Her idea was to bring medicinal herbalism back into people’s kitchens, as part of their food and as a way of being, not just for medicinal purposes. Fire Cider was among some of her early ‘cross over’ recipes — part medicine, part food.
Fire Cider is pleasantly delicious, and also, a wonderful blend of medicinal herbs.
The original formula contained garlic, onions, horseradish root, ginger root, hot peppers, sometimes turmeric, and often echinacea; all-powerful immune enhancers that help ward off infections, colds, flu, and bronchial congestion.
- ½ cup grated fresh horseradish root
- ½ cup or more fresh chopped onions
- ¼ cup or more chopped garlic
- ¼ cup or more grated ginger
- Chopped fresh or dried cayenne pepper ‘to taste’. Can be whole or powdered. ‘ To Taste’ means should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it. Better to make it a little milder than to hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.
- Optional ingredients; Turmeric, Echinacea, cinnamon, etc.
- Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least three to four inches. Cover tightly with a tight-fitting lid.
- Place the jar in a warm place and let for three to four weeks. Best to shake every day to help in the maceration process.
- After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.
- Add honey ‘to taste’. Warm the honey first so it mixes in well. “To Taste’ means your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet. “A little bit of honey helps the medicine go down……”
- Rebottle and enjoy! Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry. But it’s better to store in the refrigerator if you’ve room.
A small shot glass daily serves as an excellent tonic! Or, take teaspoons if you feel a cold coming on. Take it more frequently if necessary to help your immune system do battle.
Fire Cider Illustration – Ash Austin