Don’t know about you, but I love wandering the isles of my natural health food market. There’s always something new I haven’t heard of or tried before, and though some of it can be just as gimmicky as the products that line regular grocery store shelves, I find a lot of inspiration in the isles of my natural foods store. Most recently, I stumbled upon something called Fire Cider, an apple cider vinegar and honey based dietary supplement. It looked intriguing, and a quick scan of the ingredients gave me the urge to make my own and customize the flavor to my own liking.
Fire Cider is an old folk remedy that has infinite variations. It’s made by steeping various vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbs in apple cider vinegar. The concoction is allowed to steep for weeks, then you strain it and add honey. The infusion process draws out many plant constituents that are antibacterial, antiviral, and warming — perfect for this time of year. Think of Fire Cider as an all-purpose health tonic that you can take as a daily supplement. Use it as a preventative to boost your immune system, or as a remedy when confronted with sinus congestion, colds, or flus. It also aids digestion and improves circulation.
As you can tell from the name and the basic ingredients, Fire Cider is quite hot! You can substitute different spices, herbs, and other ingredients to create a flavor to your liking. If you are not a fan of spicy fare, you can use less of the habanero pepper or opt not to drink it straight up. There are many ways to incorporate Fire Cider into your diet. Try mixing it with hot water and extra honey and lemon for a Fire Cider tea. Dress up steamed greens or vegetables by drizzling with Fire Cider. Use it as a meat marinade or in place of the vinegar in salad dressing. If you can handle it, take a shot everyday to boost your immune system. If you feel a cold coming on, take 1 to 2 tablespoons every 4 hours until the symptoms subside.
Fire Cider — Makes 1 pint or more
- ½ cup peeled and diced horseradish
- ½ cup peeled and diced garlic
- ½ cup peeled and diced onion
- ½ cup peeled and diced ginger
- 1 habanero chile, split in half
- 1 orange, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 lemon, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 3 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 to 3 cups raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup raw honey or more to taste
Layer the chopped vegetables, herbs, fruits, and spices in a 1 quart jar. Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar and make sure all the ingredients are submerged with no air bubbles. Cap the jar. If using a mason jar with a metal lid, place a piece of parchment paper between the jar and the lid to prevent the ACV from corroding the metal lid. Shake well. Let the jar sit for 3-6 weeks, shaking daily. Strain the vinegar into a clean jar. Add the honey and mix well. Refrigerate and use within one year.
Have you made Fire Cider before? Does it sound like something you would like?