Fire Cider: The Ultimate Summer Preservation!

by Guest Blogger October 06, 2016


Fire Cider Ingredients

With fall upon us, we all feel the pull to visit our local farmers and collect the bounty of the fields! One way to preserve some of our most powerful immune-enhancing foods is to steep them in raw apple cider vinegar. The health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar are many. From live enzymes and bacteria, to a wealth of B-vitamins, what more could you ask for in a little immune enhancement?

We decided to add a little flare to the traditional fire cider recipe, to help better capture the summer energy of bright colors and vibrancy.

The possibilities are limitless and we encourage you to get creative with it. Featured: powerful and pungent fresh horseradish, ginger, garlic, onion and hot pepper.

Added enhancement: fresh, curcumin-rich yellow turmeric, deep ruby red dried hibiscus petals containing naturally occurring vitamin C, and peppery yellow, gold, red nasturtium blossoms that embody summer’s vibrancy!

Fire Cider is traditionally used for fast-acting support. The immune-enhancing effects of the veggies, herbs and spices in this formula support our bodies as we transition from the warmth of summer into the cool temperatures of fall and winter. 

Whether you need an immune system rev up or want to spice up a salad dressing, this can be taken as frequently or as little as you want.

For immune support, take 15-30 mLs every couple hours. It can be diluted in water or taken straight. As Rosemary Gladstar recommends, a small shot glass daily serves as an excellent tonic. Take it more frequently if necessary to help your immune system do battle.

It is extra fun to cook with it and seeing how it enhances your meals…. To your health and bon appetit!

Fire Cider

(Taken and adapted from:

Fire Cider is like liquid summer warmth for the darkness of winter; the high point of summer’s bounty preserved for the cold months that are to come.


  • ½ cup grated fresh horseradish root

  • ½ cup or more fresh chopped onions. (We used red onion.)

  • ¼ cup or more chopped garlic

  • ¼ cup or more grated ginger

  • Chopped fresh or dried hot pepper ‘to taste’. (We used one whole pepper. Can be whole or powdered.  ‘To Taste’ means should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it.  Better to make it a little milder than to hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric root

  • 1 tablespoon dry hibiscus petals

  • Handful Nasturtiums flowers

  • Optional ingredients; Echinacea, cinnamon, etc.

Recipe Fire Cider


1. Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least three to four inches.  Cover tightly with a tight fitting lid. If the jar has a metal top and ring, place a piece of parchment paper on the opening before closing with the lid, to prevent erosion from the vinegar.

2. Place jar in a warm place and let sit for three to four weeks.  Best to shake every day to help in the maceration process.

3. After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.

4. Add honey ‘to taste’.  Warm the honey first so it mixes in well.  “To taste’ means your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet.  “A little bit of honey helps the medicine go down……”

5. Rebottle and enjoy!  Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry.   But it’s better to store in the refrigerator if you have room.

Guest Blogger
Guest Blogger

3 Responses

Urban Moonshine
Urban Moonshine

October 24, 2017

Hi Kathy,

Apple cider vinegar is not as shelf-stable as high proof alcohol, especially if it’s raw. Bringing your infused vinegars up to 160F for 30 minutes will pasteurize them and really slow down spoilage, even at room temperature. But this may not be ideal if you are trying to benefit from the beneficial bacteria in the vinegar! So, by filling a bottle almost all the way (with very little headspace) to prevent oxidation, you can keep the vinegar long-term as long as the acidity is above 4%. Herbal ingredients often improve shelf-stability (depending on what they are). Honey generally has no effect either way. But once a bottle is opened, oxygen and bacteria are introduced and it is possible (though unlikely) that spoilage will occur. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend refrigeration for this reason to ensure really long term storage once a bottle is opened.

But truly, you won’t see spoilage even at room temperature for a good long time if at all, depending on storage conditions.
When vinegar “spoils” (if above 4% acidity, this doesn’t really ever happen even with infused vinegars, though the flavor might change in undesirable ways) you can notice chalky sediment, cloudiness, and musty odor / flavor notes develop. This is not usually dangerous but may affect the flavor and medicinal effects.

Kathy Ciarimboli
Kathy Ciarimboli

October 10, 2017

I’m curious to understand more about storage. I have some fire cider I made last year that has been in our cool basement. I figured it would keep indefinitely because it is essentially cider vinegar and honey and the herbs have been strained out. However, you state in the article that it is best to keep in the fridge and will keep for only several months unrefrigerated.

Kathy Ciarimboli
Kathy Ciarimboli

October 10, 2017

I made a very large batch of fire cider a year ago and still have some left (it has been stored in our cool basement). You say that it will only keep for several months unrefrigerated in a cool pantry. Mine is going on over a year. I’ve been taking it lately – but should I be concerned about it being too old? Since it is essentially vinegar and honey and all the herbs are strained out I figured it would keep indefinitely?

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