A Recipe for Kitchen Witches: Fire Cider

Fire Cider is a traditional folk remedy for colds, flus, fevers, and preventative care. This immune-boosting tonic is essentially a sweet and spicy infused vinegar, packed with powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and circulatory herbs. Fire Cider and Elderberry Syrup are perhaps our greatest defense against cold and flu pathogens during the Fall and Winter seasons.

Further Reading – Herbalism How-To: Elderberry Syrup


We rely on Fire Cider to assist us at the first sign of cold symptoms, and as a decongestant and expectorant when illness has set in. This tonic is not only an ally for the immune system, but it also works to stimulate digestion and promote circulation throughout the body. It can be taken daily for prevention, before meals to assist in digestion, to keep us warm on those bone-chilling days, or in acute situations to fight off illness. During the winter months, I like to take a few droppers full daily as a form of preventative care. I also tend to have very cold hands and feet, so Fire Cider is a great way for me to stay warm all winter long.

A Fire Cider Recipe for Kitchen Witches

At its most basic level, Fire Cider is a mixture of onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger, horseradish, apple cider vinegar, and honey. This combination of ingredients is all that you really need to receive the benefits of Fire Cider, but you can add other herbs if you choose. Perhaps you would like to increase its effect on the respiratory system – consider adding mullein, hyssop, or thyme. If you are seeking stronger immune boosting properties options may include elderberry, astragalus, or echinacea. To increase its circulatory benefits, rosemary or peppercorns will do the trick. This folk remedy reminds us to use whatever is available and most potent in the season when we are making it. Allow your inner kitchen witch to guide you and make this recipe your own.

Below you'll find the details on how to make our base blend. This recipe is based off of ones by Kami McBride and Rosemary Gladstar. We add a variety of other herbs specific to the immune and respiratory systems for our Fire Tonic Oxymel but the basics are the same!


  • Half Gallon sized glass jar with BPA-free plastic top (or wax paper square to go in between glass and metal lid)

  • 1 whole Chopped Onion

  • 1 head of Chopped Garlic

  • 1 cup Fresh Sliced Horseradish Root

  • 4-6 Hot Peppers (we used scotch bonnets, jalapeños, and cayenne)

  • 1/2 cup Chopped Ginger

  • 1/2 cup of Chopped Turmeric

  • 1/2 cup of Rosehips

  • 2 tsps Black Peppercorns

  • Enough Apple Cider Vinegar to fill the jar

  • Raw Local Honey


  1. Chop or grate your horseradish, peppers, ginger, turmeric, onion, garlic, and other herbs.

  2. Add all ingredients to your jar and pour Apple Cider Vinegar until all ingredients are covered.

  3. Shake the jar very well.

  4. Open the jar and make sure all contents are submerged. Add ACV until everything is covered.

  5. Set in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks and shake daily. The contents will sink down within 2 weeks and you will be able to add more ACV as it goes; do so if you wish. This is the point where we typically add additional herbs like hyssop, mullein, rosemary, thyme, sage, or whatever other herbs are calling to us from the garden.

  6. After 4-6 weeks, strain and add equal amounts of honey. Bottle and store in the fridge or a cool, dark place.

  7. Take a few droppers or a shot daily to prevent winter illnesses.

Other herbs you may consider to add to your Fire Cider include ginseng, orange, grapefruit, schizandra berries, parsley, burdock, oregano, lemon, and the ones mentioned above. There is no right or wrong with Fire Cider, I promise you! You can also leave the hot peppers out for a nightshade free version or if you just don’t like overly spicy things.

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180820185440468_COVER (1).jpg

That’s it! This is perhaps the easiest recipe to make. You just chop things up and throw it in a jar. Just remember to shake the mixture up daily! And definitely use a plastic top or slide a piece of wax paper between your metal lid and the top of the jar. If you don’t, the vinegar will corrode the metal, create a nasty black substance, and make your Fire Cider go bad. Once you have decanted the final liquid and added your honey, you can bottle your Fire Cider in Amber glass jars or keep it in your gallon jar. The mixture itself is shelf stable for up to 6 months (perhaps longer, I ere on the side of caution) and will keep in the fridge for a year or longer.

So, what’s in your Fire Cider? If you don’t have a recipe try this one out and share your combinations/experiences with us in the comments below! Or, if you aren’t feeling like waiting for 6-8 weeks to try this folk favorite, we don’t blame ya. Head to the shop to get a bottle of our Fire Tonic Oxymel shipped right to your door while supplies last.

Be Well,

Sarah CorbettComment