How to: Make Your Own Fire Cider to Cure a Cold, Allergies, and Boost Your Immune System

Like many of you, I suspect, I'd never heard of Fire Cider until a few weeks ago. It's a homemade tonic, and it wasn't historically something you could buy, and it wasn't a tradition in my family.   But, after stumbling upon a bottle of Shire City Fire Cider at a local market, and I snapped a photo and did some research. Turns out, is this old folk concoction of aromatics, vinegar, and other fermented goodies that's good for whatever ails you. 

Alex Redgrave reports,

Traditionally a cold remedy, many people take a hit of the cure-all every morning, since it’s known to have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, decongestant and digestive properties. Needless to say, with all those healing abilities, Fire Cider is not for sensitive palates or lily livers. The heady tonic has a way of making a clean sweep of your digestive system. (Woe to the person who kicks off a daily Fire Cider habit directly following a night of copious drinking…). As with most things in life, moderation is key. We recommend working your way up to gulping down the remedy with gusto. 

Of course, since for hundreds of years it was a homemade product, you can (and should) make some yourself. Most recipes include ingredients like fresh horseradish, ginger, onions, garlic, chiles, and of course apple cider vinegar. 

Not for the weak, for sure, but I can't wait to give this stuff a shot. Here's the recipe: 

Fire Cider


  • 1/2 cup diced horseradish 
  • 1/2 cup diced garlic 
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup diced ginger
  • 1/4 cup diced turmeric 
  • 1 habanero chile, split lengthwise
  • 1 orange, quartered and sliced crosswise thinly
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 cup rough chopped parsley
  • 2 tbs chopped rosemary 
  • 2 tbs chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 to 3 cups raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, or to taste


All of the ingredients in a clean, 1-quart glass jar. The vinegar should fill the jar and cover all the other ingredients. Make sure there are no air bubbles, and then cover the jar. If using a metal lid, make sure to line it with wax paper to avoid corroding the metal. Shake the jar up really well, and then let it sit in cool, dark place for three to six weeks (giving it a shake once a day). 

After 3-6 weeks, strain the liquid out into a jar using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Add honey if needed, and refrigerate! Should be used within a year.