Immunity-Boosting Fire Cider

Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 | By Nicole Easterday |

COVID-19 hasn't fully struck the Bay Area and I'm already feeling the pain of it. As requests for cancellations flow into my inbox and worried small business owners share similar experiences, I find myself wondering how this little business and so many others like it will weather the storm.

Worrying never did me much good but I've always found that preparation is a way to keep me focused and calm. 

Last week I made homemade hand sanitizer and this week I'm trying my hand at Fire Cider!

Fire Cider is an herbal remedy for digestion and immune health that's been showing up in homesteading communities a lot in the past several years. I've been wanting to make it for a while and there's nothing like a slowdown of business perfectly lined up with a viral outbreak to finally throw me into it.

Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar was apparently the first person to apply the name Fire Cider to the drink and she popularized. You can watch her describe Fire Cider and each of the individual herbs in this video and check out her book Fire Cider! here.

 Below is the basic recipe but feel free to change it based on what you have and what you like!

Fire Cider


½ cup peeled and thinly sliced garlic

½ cup peeled and thinly sliced ginger

½ cup peeled and thinly sliced horseradish

½ cup peeled and thinly sliced onion

¼ cup peeled and thinly sliced turmeric

1 orange, thinly sliced, seeds removed

½ lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

1 cinnamon stick

1 cayenne (or other) pepper, split in half, stem removed, seeds left intact

2 tablespoons thyme, removed from stem

2 tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary

½ cup roughly chopped parsley

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2-3 cups raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar

¼ cup raw honey (more or less to taste)



Place everything except vinegar and honey in a quart-sized mason jar. Fill to the top with vinegar, making sure to completely the other ingredients. Store out of direct sunlight and shake daily. After one week, you can begin tasting it. After 3-6 weeks, strain the vinegar and mix with honey in a separate container. I use this strainer - please note this is an affiliate link and I may receive commissions if you purchase from it.


I like the recommendation given by the Kitchn to cover the jar with a piece of parchment first if you’re using a metal lid, to prevent corrosion of the metal by vinegar.

There are so many ways to enjoy your Fire Cider!

We turned ours into a bloody Mary! I simply mixed a 1/4 cup Fire Cider with 1 cup V8 and a couple squeezes of lemon & lime. You can see it above decorated with lemons, limes, home-grown oranges, caper berries, celery and bell peppers. YUM!

Here are a few other ideas I liked:

  • Fire Cider Vinaigrette: Add to olive oil, fresh thyme & rosemary to make a delicious vinaigrette (thank you @fermentress)
  • Fire Cider Honey Mustard Sauce by Salt + Fat + Whiskey
  • Fire Cider Bloody Mary: This is such a natural fit - just add a little to your normal recipe
  • Marinate meats with Fire Cider
  • Drizzle over cooked vegetables
  • Add a dash into soup
  • Add to other recipes that could use some extra zing

My friend Jennifer Harris (@fermentista) also recommended dehydrating the strained components and pulverizing in a Vitamix to make a spicy powder. I'm dreaming of having that on popcorn!

Have you tried Fire Cider? What are your favorite ways to use it?

Check out the book Fire Cider! here.

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