Fire Cider

Fire Cider

 Jennifer Perillo

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Ferment: 336 hrs
Total: 336 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 4 Cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
23 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 23
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 97mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 107mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fire cider is the “it” drink when it comes to all-natural tonics, but the truth is, it’s far from new. The premise of using herbs in a powerful combination to rid your body of what ails you references back to at least the mid-1800s and most likely longer, though not recorded.

So, what is fire cider and why is it so popular during cold and flu season? Fire cider is a combination of herbs and aromatic vegetables steeped in apple cider vinegar. Ingredients like garlic, horseradish, ginger, sage, thyme, cayenne, and other herbs help fortify and strengthen the drink.

One whiff of fire cider perks up those nasal passages. Everyone who’s made or sipped it will agree it’s an acquired taste, but one fire cider fan agrees it is worth it. There are enthusiasts who swear by a shot of fire cider every day.

Combine 1 part fire cider to 3 parts hot water. Some honey can help lessen the acidic punch and drinking it like this as a tea is more palatable and enjoyable. You can use maple syrup or agave if you want to keep your fire cider vegan.

The base for fire cider begins with apple cider vinegar. Choose an apple cider vinegar that includes the mother for maximum effect. As for the aromatics, horseradish, ginger root, garlic, and cayenne are common. Raw onions may be included, too. Keep your dietary needs and preferences in mind when making fire cider. If you’re allergic to garlic, it’d be counter-productive to use it.

To make a one quart jar of fire cider, you’ll need a total of two cups of chopped ingredients. Aside from that base standard, the amount of each ingredient you’ll ultimately use is very flexible. Once you’ve got all your ingredients ready, the only thing you need to do is get chopping since fire cider is a no-cook recipe. This falls into the home fermenting category, a tonic that just needs time to develop fully as the herbs and aromatics infuse into the vinegar.


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh horseradish root

  • 1/4 cup ginger root, finely chopped

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    fire cider - gather ingredients
    Jennifer Perillo
  2. Combine everything in a 1-quart (4 cup) clean mason jar.

    fire cider - combine ingredients
    Jennifer Perillo
  3. Close tightly, give it a shake, and set the jar in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight. Give the jar a shake daily.

    fire cider - combine ingredients
    Jennifer Perillo
  4. The cider is ready to drink after one month of fermenting. You can simply pour it through a strainer as you need, or strain the entire batch at once (discard the solids).


  • Generally, it’s best to let your fire cider ferment for a month, so it's a good idea to get fresh batches going in late fall. Of course, the urge might strike sooner to want to give it a try. In that case, be sure to let al the ingredients steep together for at least two weeks before you get sipping.