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Try this tasty, immune-boosting fire cider recipe. It’s just what you need to keep everyone healthy this cold and flu season. Customize the ingredients to your liking!

Text of "how to make fire cider" over a picture of fire cider in a jar being held by a girl

Fire cider – ever heard of it?

I, for one, am a big fan of fire cider. It belongs next to my herbal cold and flu remedies and elderberry juice as another powerful tool for helping me keep myself and my family healthy. Any time I can use wholesome, natural ingredients to improve health, you know I am going to take it!

Today we’ll be talking all about fire cider and why you just might want to try it for yourself. I’ll also include a printable recipe card to help you make your own fire cider at home, as well as variation ideas to customize it to your preferences.

What is Fire Cider?

So, if you’ve heard some buzz about fire cider you might have wondered what it is?

Close up of a jar of fire cider

Fire cider is a traditional folk remedy or tonic that was made famous by the herbalist Rosemary Gladstar (one of my favorites!!). This book she wrote got me started on this journey and is still the main resource I turn to.

In it’s basic form, a fire cider recipe contains apple cider vinegar that has been fermented and infused with health-promoting ingredients like garlic, horse radish, onion, and jalapenos. Some variations will use spices, herbs, fruits and sweeteners as well.

The infused liquid in fire cider is meant to be consumed as a tonic or health supplement.

What is Fire Cider Used for?

Fire cider is taken to prevent or shorten the intensity or duration of illness, to provide energy, and boost overall health and well being.

Many people, myself included, really love this stuff! I can see a big difference in how quickly my family recovers from an illness when we are taking fire cider vs. when we aren’t. And, since it’s healthy and all natural, why not give it a try?

Health Benefits of Fire Cider

Due to the combination of health-promoting ingredients found in fire cider, there are many health benefits that can be derived from this powerful herbal medicine. Some of these benefits include:

Assorted vegetables, herbs, fruits and spices on a wood cutting board
  • Immune Support – This is probably what fire cider is best known for. Fire cider’s ingredients are full of immune-boosting nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Anti-Inflammatory – Fire cider contains natural ingredients that can help improve inflammation.
  • Full of Antioxidants – The ingredients in fire cider make it a great source of antioxidants.
  • Boosts Energy – Many people feel that fire cider boosts their energy and supports their overall health.
  • Supports Circulation – Heat from peppers can be beneficial in promoting good circulation.
  • Aids in Digestion – Fire cider’s spice can help stimulate and regulate digestion.
  • Rich in Nutrients – You’ll find many important vitamins and minerals in fire cider.
  • Improved Respiratory Health – Fire Cider’s heat is helpful to some people in relieving nasal and respiratory congestion.
  • Antimicrobial Properties – The garlic in fire cider is a great antimicrobial ingredient. It can help combat bacteria and viruses to promote good health.

What You’ll Need to Make Basic Fire Cider

Let’s look at what you’ll need to start making fire cider. We’ll begin with equipment and ingredients for a basic fire cider recipe, then I’ll give you more ingredient ideas for making fire cider variations.

equipment needed to make fire cider


To make this fire cider recipe, you will need the following equipment:

  • Glass Jars – I like this use a flip top jar, but any glass jar will work.
  • Parchment Paper – If you’re using a jar with a metal lid, you’ll want to use parchment paper as a barrier between your lid and jar to prevent corrosion from the vinegar touching the metal.
  • A Fermentation Weight – This will keep your ingredients submerged in the liquid to help them infuse properly.
  • Gloves – If you are going to be handling jalapenos or other similarly hot peppers, you might want to wear gloves to protect your hands


You will also need the following ingredients for this fire cider recipe:

It’s important to use the best quality ingredients you can find here. Try to use fresh horseradish root if you can.

You want anything you use in your fire cider recipe to be organic, if possible. You’re trying to infuse vitamins and nutrients into your fire cider, not herbicides, pesticides or preservatives.

Fire Cider Variations

Now, here is where it gets fun! You can add all sorts of other things to your fire cider. Fruits, herbs, spices and sweetener are often added for their health benefits and to customize the flavor of fire cider.

A cutting board holds fruits, vegetables and herbs


If you want to add some fruit to your fire cider recipe for flavor and vitamin C, any or all of these would make great additions:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranates


Fresh herbs are best for fire cider, if you can get them. If not, dried will work just fine. All these herbs have amazing health benefits. Some good herb options for your fire cider include:

  • Elderberry
  • Rose Hips
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Lemon Balm
  • Peppermint


Some great spices to go in your fire cider are:

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon or Cinnamon Sticks
  • Star Anise
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Cayenne Pepper

If possible, try to use fresh ginger roots and fresh turmeric root for the most nutrients.


If you’d like to add a sweetener to your fire cider, you could try:

A jug of apple cider vinegar from Azure Standard

Honey is my sweetener of choice for fire cider because it contains many of its own health benefits that will compliment your fire cider nicely. However, I recommend not adding the honey until right before serving to preserve the antibacterial and antiseptic properties of the honey.

How to Make Fire Cider Step-by-Step

  • To make your fire cider, start with a clean glass jar.
  • Layer your ingredients in the jar, starting with the basics of garlic, onion, horseradish and peppers.
A glass jar layered with onions, garlic and peppers
  • Layer in any additional fruits, herbs or spices that you would like to use.
A glass jar holds layers of vegetables and herbs
  • Pour in the apple cider vinegar, leaving about an inch or so of headspace in the jar. If you have a fermentation weight, add that to the top to keep everything submerged.
A jar filled with chopped ingredients for fire cider
  • If using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment paper between your jar and lid and then seal the jar shut.
  • Place your jar in a dark, cool place and allow it to infuse and ferment for the next 3-6 weeks. Every few days you’ll want to open your jar to release built up pressure, especially in the first few days. You’ll also want to shake your fire cider up every few days to help disperse the infusion.

How to Store Fire Cider

Once your fire cider is done infusing, store the completed cider in the refrigerator for up to a year. You can choose to strain the entire batch before placing it in the refrigerator, or you can leave everything in it. If you leave the infusion ingredients in your fire cider, they will continue to infuse and become more potent as time passes. But straining it does make it more convenient to take. It’s up to you!

Dosing Your Fire Cider

Enjoy 1 tablespoon of fire cider daily to boost the immune system. When fighting an illness/sickness you can increase that dose to 3 tablespoons daily.

A person puts a fermentation weight into a jar of homemade fire cider

If you want to sweeten your fire cider with honey, remember to stir that in right before serving for maximum health benefits.

Ideas for Using Fire Cider

Fire cider has a strong flavor. If you or your family aren’t fans of taking a shot of straight fire cider, or you just want more ideas of how to use your fire cider, I’ve got a few thoughts for you.

  • Use your fire cider in a salad dressing. Add a little oil and any other spices that sound good to you and see what you can come up with.
  • You can use your fire cider in a marinade. Add oil and any other seasonings you desire to give your meat dishes extra flavor.
  • Saute meats, tofu or vegetables in fire cider and oil. It’ll pack a lot of flavor into your next stir fry!
  • You can try adding a dash of fire cider to your next smoothie or tea. A drink with some zip, like orange juice or lemonade, would be a great way to get the kids to drink up some fire cider.
An open glass jar filled with layers of fruits, vegetables and herbs.


What does fire cider taste like?

Fire cider has a strong spicy and potent flavor. Some people love it, but if that’s not your thing, remember that you can customize your fire cider recipe with fruits, herbs, spices and sweetener.

Should you strain your fire cider?

You’ll want to strain your fire cider before using it. You can decide whether to strain the entire batch or just the portion you will be using. It is fine to leave your infused fire cider unstrained until you are ready to consume it.

Should you take fire cider on an empty stomach?

This is a matter of personal preference. If you have a sensitive stomach, it might be best to take fire cider with food.

How long does fire cider last?

You can store your fire cider in the fridge for up to a year.

Please keep in mind that I am not a trained medical professional and this advice has not been approved by the FDA. Please consult your physician about any medications or home remedies you might be interested in trying.

More Natural Remedies to Try

I hope you’ll give this fire cider recipe a try! It’s really great to have around for cold and flu season. If you’ve tried fire cider, I’d love to hear your favorite variation. I’m anxious to try it with pomegranates next! Let me know in the comments!

Someone holds a jar of fire cider

To learn more about natural and herbal remedies, you should checkout the Herbal Academy. They are an fantastic resource for herbal education, and where I am currently studying.

To read more of my own articles about herbal remedies, please see:

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe Card

Here is the fire cider recipe I used for the fire cider in my photos, but feel free to adjust the recipe according to what you prefer or have on hand. It’s very adaptable!

Close up of a jar of fire cider

Fire Cider

Try this tasty, immune-boosting fire cider. It's just what you need to keep everyone healthy this cold and flu season. Customize the ingredients to your liking!


  • Glass jar with lid
  • Fermentation weight
  • parchment paper
  • Gloves (optional: for handling hot peppers)


  • Apple cider vinegar

Base Recipe

  • 1 head of garlic or several garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh horseradish, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeno or habanero peppers (depending on how hot you want it), chopped with seeds left in
  • Raw apple cider vinegar to cover ingredients in the jar


  • 1 lemon, chopped, with peel left on
  • 1 orange, chopped, with peel left on


  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 4-5 leaves sage
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves


  • 1/2 cup fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp peppercorns


  • Layer all of the ingredients in a clean glass jar.
  • Fill the jar with enough apple cider vinegar to cover the ingredients, leaving about an inch of headspace.
  • Place a fermentation weight in the jar to keep ingredients submerged.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper between the jar and lid, then seal.
  • Place jar in a cool, dark place and allow to infuse and ferment for the next 3-6 weeks, opening the jar to relieve pressure and shaking every few days.
  • Store your fire cider in the refrigerator for up to one year. Strain before storing in the fridge or before consuming, depending on personal preference.
  • If using honey as a sweetener, add right before serving.
  • Enjoy 1 tablespoon a day, or up to 3 tablespoons a day when fighting sickness.


This recipes is highly adaptable.  After you’ve added your base ingredients, feel free to experiment with other fruits, herbs, spices and sweeteners beyond what has been listed here. 
Close up of a jar of fire cider

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