Fire Cider, a History (and How to Make Your Own!)

by Editor

Fire cider is a staple in the pantries of herbalists around the world.

Invented by Rosemary Gladstar and her students in 1979, the herbal remedy preparation is as common as elderberry syrup or calendula salve to those who walk the path of natural wellness.

It supports the immune and digestive systems and provides warmth and circulation to the belly. The golden liquid is one of the handiest elixirs to have in your wellness kit.

“Like most herbal recipes, it wasn’t fully original but rather was based on several other old folk remedies. I added my own touches, a few new herbs, a little something hot, and a little honey for sweetness. When my students and I strained and tasted that first batch of herb-infused vinegar several weeks later, a perfect merging of flavors exploded in our mouths. We knew we had created a winner, which we promptly and proudly dubbed fire cider.” 

– Rosemary Gladstar
fire cider ingredients

And so, fire cider was born unto a small group of herbalists, and it rippled like wildfire from there.

A few decades and many variations later, interest in the recipe continues to increase. It’s accessible, tasty, functional, and fun to make. And while suitable for sprouting herbalists, many professional herbalists and holistic practitioners reach for this faithful fiery preparation, year after year. 

There are so many interesting and unique variations of fire cider to explore. In fact, Rosemary Gladstar published a whole book on the topic called Fire Cider! 101 Zesty Recipes for Health-Boosting Remedies Made with Apple Cider Vinegar, which we highly recommend. 

Here are two time-tested recipes that the Mountain Rose Herbs team has used for decades. Hopefully, these recipes will ignite a passion for natural paths to health and further herbal exploration. (And for those who would prefer to try fire cider before making it, Mountain Rose Herbs offers two types of small-batch organic fire ciders.)

classic fire cider recipe

Classic Fire Cider Recipe

Makes about a quart.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium organic onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 2 organic jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
  • ½ cup fresh grated organic ginger root (or organic ginger root powder)
  • ½ cup fresh grated organic horseradish root (or organic horseradish powder)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh grated organic turmeric root (or organic turmeric powder)
  • ¼ tsp. organic cayenne powder
  • 2 Tbsp. dried rosemary leaves
  • organic apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup raw, local honey, or to taste

Directions

Place prepared roots, fruits, and herbs in a quart-sized glass jar. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the jar until all of the ingredients are covered, and the vinegar reaches the jar’s top.

If using a plastic lid, place lid on jar. If using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment paper underneath the metal lid to avoid the metal getting corroded, then screw lid on jar. Shake well.

Store in a dark, cool place for a month and shake daily. After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid as you can from the pulp while straining. Stir in the honey until thoroughly incorporated. Taste your cider and add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness.

Store in a cool, dark, dry place (or fridge) until gone. Enjoy daily or at the first signs of the sniffles.

speedy fire cider recipe

Speedy Fire Cider Recipe with Dried Ingredients

Makes about 1 quart.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup organic horseradish root powder
  • ¼ cup organic ginger root powder
  • ¼ cup dried organic minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp. dried organic rosemary leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. organic turmeric root powder
  • 3 tsp. organic garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. organic black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. organic astragalus root powder 
  • (or a few astragalus root slices)
  • 1 tsp. dried organic orange peel
  • 4 organic star anise pods
  • 4 organic whole bird’s eye chilis
  • About 4 cups raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup raw, local honey, or to taste

Directions

Place all herbs and spices in a quart-sized glass jar and fill with apple cider vinegar until all ingredients are covered and the vinegar reaches the jar’s top. If using a plastic lid, place lid on jar. If using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment paper underneath the metal lid to avoid the metal getting corroded, then screw lid on jar. Shake well.

Store in a cool, dark, dry place for 2 weeks. Remember to shake daily. If it’s got the kick you’re seeking after 2 weeks, strain the ingredients through cheesecloth and pour the vinegar into a sterilized glass jar for storage. Squeeze out the cheesecloth to get every last drop of the liquid. Stir in the honey until thoroughly incorporated. Taste your cider and add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness.

Store in a cool, dark, dry place (or fridge) until gone. Enjoy daily or at the first signs of the sniffles.

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