Introduction: Winter Fire Cider

It's hard to turn down something immune boosting, circulation encouraging, antibacterial and viral, that also clears your sinuses, even if it's got a taste that takes some getting used to. Fire Cider is just that--a hot, bitter, sweet and easy DIY home remedy to fight off the pesky cold and flu season and promote wellness year-round. Fire Cider is apple cider vinegar that has been infused with a variety of spices, herbs, and fruits so naturally it lends itself to variation and experimentation. In this Instructable, I'll walk you through a basic Fire Cider recipe but feel free to explore, substitute, or add to your ingredients for flavor or wellness benefits.

So raise a teaspoon and here's to wellness this cold and flu season!

NOTE: This Instructable is not a treatment or cure-all and should not be taken instead of the advice of any medical or health professional. This is simply at at home recipe to boost wellness, not cure ailments.

Step 1: Ingredients

There are many varieties of fire cider. The list of ingredients below is for a blend that I've come to enjoy in a fire cider. You are more than welcome to play with quantities or ingredients yourself--let me know how they turn out!

Things you'll need:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Whole Lemon
  • 2 Oranges
  • Fresh Ginger (1/4 cup chopped)
  • Fresh Turmeric (1/4 cup chopped)
  • Fresh Horseradish (1/4 cup chopped)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves Chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Full Onion
  • 1 Head of Parsley
  • 3 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 2 Sprigs of Oregano
  • 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • Honey to Taste


  • Glass Jar
  • Wax Paper
  • Cheesecloth

Other Optional Ingredients:

  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Mustard Seed
  • Elderflower
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Peppercorns
  • Habanero

Step 2: Onions & Garlic

Coarsely chop your onions and garlic cloves. You want to chop your onion and garlic fine enough that the vinegar can seep into them but coarse enough so that when you strain the fire cider in the final step you aren't left with any chunks.

Once chopped, add your garlic and onions to a clean dry jar.

Onions can act as a cough reliever and anti-inflammatory agent.

Garlic is full of antioxidants which can help to ward off free radicals that can contribute to heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers. It is also thought that garlic helps to prevent the common cold.

Step 3: At the Root of Things

Time for you roots. Peel the skins off of your turmeric, horseradish, and ginger. Coarsely chop your roots until you have equal amounts of all three of them. Place your freshly chopped roots into your glass jar on top of your onions and garlic.

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as both an antioxidant and natural remedy for inflammation, bad digestion, diseases of the skin, liver problems and wounds.

Horseradish is believed to be advantageous to digestion, respiratory conditions, lowering blood pressure, and strengthen bones. It is also believed to be an anticancer root because of it's high levels of glucosinolates.

Ginger is useful in fighting flu or cold symptoms. It has also been used to treat menstrual cramps, headaches, and nausea.

Step 4: Greens

Coarsely chop your parsley and add it to your jar. Next, strip the leaves from your oregano and thyme. Combine your stripped leaves with your rosemary and chop all of the herbs together. Add your chopped herbs on top of your parsley.

Parsley is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. It is also believed to be anti-inflammatory.
Thyme has antibacterial properties as well as the ability to suppress coughs and clear mucus.

Rosemary has been shown to relieve muscle pain and spasm as well as promote healthy circulatory and nervous systems.

Step 5: Good Old Vitamin C

Quarter one and a half of your oranges and the entire lemon. Once quartered slice each citrus until you have a selection of uniform wedges, each about a quart of an inch thick. Drop your wedges into your jar, pushing them down with your finger if necessary.

Juice the remaining half of an orange into your fire cider jar. This will add a bit of sweetness to your otherwise acidy and bitter cider.

Step 6: Spice It Up

Chop your jalapeno into slices and place it in the jar. Add your cinnamon. You're almost done!

Cinnamon has been used in home and natural health remedies for generations. It is thought to help reduce inflammation, aid in digestion, curb appetite, and help with painful menstruation.

Step 7: Top It Off

Shake your Apple Cider Vinegar. Pour the vinegar into your jar until all of your health boosting ingredients are covered. Give your jar a good gentle shake to release any air bubbles.

Step 8: Seal and Store

Cover your jar with a square of wax paper. The wax paper prevents the vinegar from corroding the metal lid. You can also substitute a silicone or plastic lid if you have one. Otherwise wax paper works great!

Screw your lid on tightly and store your fire cider in a cool temperature controlled place like your refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. Try to shake it daily, or as often as you can remember to.

Step 9: Straining

Place two squares of cheesecloth over the mouth of your jar. Pull tight and secure your cheesecloth with a rubber band. The cheesecloth will act as a barrier, allowing your to collect your fire cider without any of the chunks.

Pour your infused vinegar into a separate clean jar to store for use later. Seal tightly.

Step 10: Done!

You're done. Feel free to add honey to taste. I generally like to leave the honey out and simply add it to whatever I am consuming with the fire cider if I need it a little sweeter.

Step 11: Use Fire Cider

Fire Cider is a wonderful addition to many things, especially since it can boost your health and ward off cold and flu season. I generally add it to tea with a teaspoon of local honey, but try any of these variations or share your own:

  • Mix with Orange Juice
  • Use in Salad Dressings
  • Add to Soup or Chili
  • Add to Tea with Honey
  • Spritz over veggies
  • Add to a Meat Marinade
  • Shoot it straight!
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