It’s no secret that I believe in fairy tales, but they’re mostly of the modern day sort. Occasionally, though, I come across a recipe or ingredient that seems like it was pulled directly from one of Grimm’s stories. How else could one feel about keeping dragon’s blood in the cupboard, and enchanted fire cider in the fridge?
Though not imparted with any actual mystical powers, fire cider truly is magical in its own right. Like elderberry syrup, this tonic is revered by herbalists for its ability to support the immune system and shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms if they occur, and for good reason. It’s an apple cider vinegar infusion that contains “powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, and spicy circulatory movers” that make it “especially pleasant and easy to incorporate into your daily diet to help boost the immune system, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days.”
Because it takes about a month to mature, I recommend starting a batch now so you’ll be ready for fall. I actually have two going – one for the family and one for myself, because I ♥ all things horse-radishy, and I’m not always great at sharing.
How To Take Fire Cider
Many people take 1-2 tablespoons throughout the fall/winter months as a preventative measure, or every three to four hours if symptoms are present.
Here are some more ways to use it:
- As a “wellness shot” – I actually love the taste, so I put about 1 oz. in a shot glass to drink straight up
- As a tea – Breathe in the steam as you sip to relieve congestion
- In juice – For little ones, it’s best to serve a small amount mixed in freshly-pressed orange juice or lemonade
- As a marinade or salad dressing
Fire Cider Recipe
I first read about fire cider in Rosemary Gladstar’s book, Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health. This recipe is adapted from her recipe.
- ½ cup peeled and shredded/diced ginger root
- ½ cup peeled and shredded/diced horseradish root
- ½ cup peeled and diced turmeric OR 1/4 cup additional ginger and 1/4 cup additional horseradish
- ½ cup white onion, chopped
- ¼ cup minced or crushed garlic cloves
- 2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
- Zest and juice from 2 organic lemons
- Raw apple cider vinegar
- Raw, organic honey to taste
- Several sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- Quart-sized jar
- Wax paper
Add the ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, jalapeno and lemon juice/zest to a quart-sized jar. Pack them down lightly so that the jar is about 3/4 full. Use a fermenting weight to hold down the veggies/roots, or place heavy roots at the top so that they will weigh down the herbs and jalapenos (which float). Pour a generous amount apple cider vinegar over the roots/vegetables. You want everything to stay under the liquid to prevent spoilage. Keep in mind that some of the roots will expand a little so top it off well.
If you’re using a metal lid, line it with wax paper so that the vinegar doesn’t corrode it, then put the lid on. Place in a dark, room temperature cabinet for 2-4 weeks. (A month is best)
When the cider is ready, shake well and then strain the roots/veggies using a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve. Add honey to taste and store in the fridge.
Note: Mountain Rose Herbs suggests that you used the strained veggies in stir fry or spring rolls. Yum!