How to Make Fire Cider

How to make fire cider, an immune-boosting health tonic with fresh horseradish, ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and honey.

You went WILD over my posts on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and apple cider vinegar detox drinks, so when I came across this folk remedy using apple cider vinegar I knew I had to share it with you!

Enter: fire cider. Ever heard of it? It’s an immune-boosting health tonic that’s been used for decades to naturally protect against cold and flu and ease sinus congestion. There are a few brands on the market (which is how I got into it), but I quickly realized that fire cider is really easy to make at home.

Fire cider in a mason jar with rosemary on top.

Cold and flu season is almost over, but I’ve still been drinking my homemade fire cider regularly because the weather has been iffy here lately (we had flurries this weekend) and a few of our friends have been sick with the flu. Ugh!

Ingredients in Fire Cider

The base recipe includes horseradish, ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar. If that scares the bejeezus out of you, don’t worry, the last step before drinking is to add honey and any other flavors to sweeten/balance to your liking.

All the ingredients needed to make homemade fire cider.

So why would you want to choke this down? First of all it’s actually quite tasty… and addicting. Isaac and I have grown to crave the stuff. It’s an amazing balance of spicy, sour, sweet, sharp, herbal — basically every flavor I can describe.

Adding all the roots, herbs and fresh vegetables into a mason jar for fire cider.

Fire Cider Health Benefits

Beyond the flavor, it’s packed with health benefits (hence why it’s called a folk remedy). I swear by it as an immune booster and drink extra when I’m starting to feel like I’m coming down with something, but the ingredients in fire cider provide a host of benefits.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar — the health benefits of apple cider are abundant and it’s the base for this recipe!

  • Horseradish — helps alleviate sinus congestion and headaches. Even chopping or grating horseradish has this effect. If you try this recipe, you’ll see!

  • Ginger — helps with digestion, infections and nausea.

  • Garlic — a secret superpower with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

  • Onion — has similar properties to garlic but is also great for preventing (or recovering from!) colds and the flu.

  • Cayenne Pepper — helps move blood through your cardiovascular system. Blood circulation = healing.

  • Honey — soothes inflamed tissues and organs. Using local honey can also help with allergies.

I know those ingredients still seem intimidating, but here’s a sneak peek before you get to the recipe: you’re essentially infusing apple cider vinegar with these flavors, straining the liquid and then adding honey to sweeten.

Everything for fire cider added into a mason jar, before shaking to combine.

There are soooo many ways to enjoy this elixir. I’m excited to make my way through this list!

  • Take a shot (about 1-2 Tablespoons) straight up.
  • Dilute the fire cider tonic with warm water, juice or apple cider.
  • Use the fire cider to make a delicious homemade salad dressing  — this is happening ASAP.
  • Add to fried rice or cauliflower fried rice.
  • Use in Bloody Marys — alcoholic or not!
  • Drizzle over steamed veggies.
  • Use as a marinade for tofu, meat, etc.
  • Add to soup or chili.
  • Use as a hangover cure.

Note: Many people drink fire cider straight up (1-2 Tablespoons) out of a shot glass, but if you’re worried about your tooth enamel it’s best to dilute it with water or another liquid.

Fire cider in a shot glass being held by a woman's hand.

If you try this fire cider recipe please be sure to let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment (and star rating) below! 

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Adding all the roots, herbs and fresh vegetables into a mason jar for fire cider.

How to Make Fire Cider

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Steep Time: 4 Weeks
  • Total Time: 4 weeks + 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart
  • Diet: Vegetarian


An immune-boosting health tonic with fresh horseradish, ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and honey. 


  • 1/2 cup freshly peeled and grated ginger root
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated horseradish root
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 2 organic jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric powder or 2 Tablespoons freshly grated turmeric root
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, or to taste


  1. Add ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, jalapeño peppers, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, turmeric and cayenne powder into quart-sized glass jar.
  2. Pour apple cider vinegar in the jar until all the ingredients are fully covered and the vinegar reaches the top of the jar. You want to be sure all the ingredients are covered to prevent spoilage.
  3. Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or use a plastic lid if you have one.
  4. Shake jar to combine all the ingredients and store in a dark, cool place for 4-6 weeks, remembering to shake the jar a few seconds every day.
  5. After one month, use a mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain out the solids, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. This stuff is liquid gold! The solids can be used in a stir-fry or you can compost/discard them.
  6. Add honey to the liquid and stir until incorporated.
  7. Taste your fire cider and add more honey if needed until you reach your desired sweetness.
  8. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or in a cold, dark place.
  9. Drink 1-2 Tablespoons when needed.


  • Feel free to make this recipe your own with optional add-ins like cinnamon, orange and grapefruit.
  • Recipe inspired and adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs.
  • Category: Tonics
  • Method: Steep
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: fire cider

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Recipe rating

    1. Gina St Clair
      March 28, 2021 AT 9:20 pm

      I followed the recipe exactly and a strained it at about 6 weeks. Had a moldy flavor so I dumped it. I didn’t think things could mold in vinegar. Maybe should have strained it sooner.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 28, 2021 AT 10:18 pm

        Oh no! So sorry to hear that, Gina. 6 weeks should have been fine. Did you store it in a cool, dark place and did you shake the jar every few days?

    2. ash
      March 15, 2021 AT 5:23 pm

      this is going to sound silly but I made this recipe, had been enjoying it, then didn’t drink it for a couple months. I’ve had the jars of it in my fridge this whole time and it’s settled quite a lot. It’s still fine, right? Just shake it up and I should be able to get back into it? Thank you!

    3. Angela Lydia
      March 3, 2021 AT 5:00 pm

      I accidentally added honey b4 fermentation. Still ok?


      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 3, 2021 AT 10:01 pm

        That should be fine!

    4. Katja
      February 6, 2021 AT 2:26 pm

      Once you’ve strained the juice could you just add more vinegar and store again or is it too late?

    5. Court
      January 26, 2021 AT 11:04 pm

      If you can’t find horseradish root is there something else you can use? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 27, 2021 AT 7:03 pm

        Mmm, there isn’t really a good substitute for horseradish in this recipe. It’s a big part of the recipe so I recommend using that if you’re able to find it.

        1. Anna
          April 2, 2021 AT 12:05 pm

          What about wasabi :)?

          1. Brittany Mullins
            April 3, 2021 AT 11:51 pm

            In place of one of the ingredients or as an additional ingredient?

    6. Mermie
      October 15, 2020 AT 5:35 pm

      Hi. Could we substitute ACV for kombucha that has gotten very very vinegary? Thanks

    7. Clara
      September 25, 2020 AT 11:54 am

      Would I double everything if using a A 2lt jar or just add more vinegar?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 28, 2020 AT 3:06 pm

        I would double everything!

    8. notis
      August 16, 2020 AT 3:03 am

      Just a question about the recipe. Could we use 80 proof alcohol to make it? Would the alcohol pull out more of the constituents of the ingredients? Of course we can be taking lesser amount.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 17, 2020 AT 3:26 pm

        Hey there – Are you wanting to use alcohol instead of the apple cider vinegar?

    9. April M
      May 18, 2020 AT 3:20 pm

      My question is, I have lots of fresh rosemary in the garden right now. Can I just throw in a few sprigs of that into the mason jar instead of dried rosemary? And has anybody tried using organic dried rose hips in the recipe as well? I saw a different recipe that included rosehips and was wondering what people’s thoughts were on that! Thanks for the recipe can’t wait to make my batch up today!

      1. Linda W
        December 23, 2020 AT 3:08 pm

        Hi..I use fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and fresh parsley in my fire cider and it turns out awesome.

      2. Brittany Mullins
        May 19, 2020 AT 6:46 pm

        Hey April – I think fresh rosemary would be just fine! I haven’t tried dried rose hip before, but let me know if you try it!!

    10. Dale P Wells
      April 16, 2020 AT 9:38 pm

      I have an old Atlas juicer and juice all of the solids and mix the mixed solids in my tonic.

    11. Steph
      April 5, 2020 AT 8:22 pm

      I don’t have a glass jug.. would an empty plastic milk carton be ok?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 6, 2020 AT 1:41 pm

        Hey Steph – I don’t think it’s ideal because of chemicals that may leach from the bottles into your brew, but I’m sure it would be okay to test out.

    12. Jacque
      April 3, 2020 AT 1:20 am

      I made 5-6 jars of firetonic last May and have not yet strained them. Do you think they are still good or do you think they are spoiled? Do you know if it’s possible to have botulism even in the acidity of the vinegar?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 3, 2020 AT 6:46 pm

        I just looked it up and it says fire cider has a shelf life of 18 months, so you should be good!

    13. Danielle March
      March 27, 2020 AT 1:06 am

      I have a severe allergy to jalapeno and other hot peppers. Would I be able to omit them or just add something in their place?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 27, 2020 AT 12:01 pm

        Hey Danielle – I think it’d be fine to just omit them all together!

    14. Bug
      March 24, 2020 AT 12:32 pm

      Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe.

      I forgot to put a barrier between my cider and the metal lid of the jar, I also left it somewhere near a heat vent over night. Do you think this may have made the cider unusable?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 25, 2020 AT 1:39 pm

        The vinegar could corrode the metal, so I’d look at the metal and see if there is any corrosion. If there is, I’d toss it.

    15. SophieCT
      March 12, 2020 AT 10:39 pm

      Swap out the vermouth in a gin martini for this. Absolute heaven!

    16. Christie Pitney
      February 22, 2020 AT 9:25 pm

      I wasn’t paying enough attention and added my honey along with my other ingredients (before storing for 4-6 weeks). Think it will ruin it?

      1. Christina
        March 23, 2020 AT 9:12 pm

        I know that with kombucha adding honey initially instead of cane sugar can be a concern with botulism, maybe the apple cider vinegar would protect it from bacteria overgrowth, but kind of worrisome without anyway of testing.

      2. Brittany Mullins
        February 23, 2020 AT 2:42 pm

        Hey Christie – It should still be just fine. 🙂

        1. Allison
          September 21, 2020 AT 12:39 pm

          Phew! Thanks Christie, glad I wasn’t the only one not following directions. Great recipe Brittany, thank you!

    17. Coreda Steele
      February 3, 2020 AT 9:18 pm

      I just took mine down today and so far it’s been a hit! I love the fresh taste and 3 of my 5 sons have given their votes of approval so far. The other 2 will get to taste it soon. Thank you so much. This is exactly what I had hoped for and will expect to stay healthier than ever with it’s immune boosting properties.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 4, 2020 AT 12:02 am

        Yay!! So glad this recipe turned out for you, Coreda! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    18. DMC
      December 25, 2019 AT 10:57 am

      We forgot to shake our cider for a few days. :/ Is it still okay?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 26, 2019 AT 9:17 pm

        Yes, it should be just fine! 🙂

    19. Barbara Waske
      December 24, 2019 AT 4:28 pm

      Someone mentioned Orange in the comment section. But I didn’t see it in the ingredients?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 26, 2019 AT 9:20 pm

        Oranges are mentioned in the notes section. They can be an optional add-in. 🙂

    20. Simone
      December 17, 2019 AT 11:36 am

      Hi there! I accidentally added the honey with all the other ingredients. Should I be concerned? The cider sat out for a month. I just strained it and divided it into smaller bottles. When the cider settles, I notice a thicker substance collecting at the bottom that disappears when I shake it up. Is that normal? Thanks so much. Giving it out as gifts and I’m worried about making anyone sick.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 18, 2019 AT 5:38 pm

        Hey Simone! No need to be concerned. They should be fine! 🙂

    21. Mary W.
      November 12, 2019 AT 8:45 am

      Can I leave out the jalapeño peppers? Or can I substitute banana peppers for them?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 12, 2019 AT 8:05 pm

        Yes, omitting the jalapeno peppers should be just fine!

        1. Sam
          March 22, 2020 AT 12:38 pm

          Hi Brittany, I’ve got my jars all ready with the fire cider and it looks beautiful. Thanks for your recipe.

          Question on the parchment paper. When using a mason jar with a metal lid, should we cut a circle of parchment paper to fit up into the lid nice and neatly or instead do you twist the lid onto a square of the paper and trim it up? I did the latter of the two and it’s working well but I’m wondering if it is perhaps letting a little bit of air out as I don’t feel any pressure when I push down on my mason jar lids. Is this a ferment that we’re looking to build a little pressure with like you would find in a sauerkraut or kvass?

          I guess that’s two questions 😉

          Thanks so much 🙂

          1. Brittany Mullins
            March 23, 2020 AT 4:19 pm

            Hey Sam! How you did it with a square piece of parchment paper is perfect and you should be good! 🙂

            1. Sam
              April 7, 2020 AT 9:26 am

              Oh perfect 🙂 Thanks for the clarity on that.

    22. Jace
      November 10, 2019 AT 7:02 pm

      Hi there,I loosely followed your ingredient list(added more of each ingredient, and and covered in Bragg’s ACV) Is there “too long” of a time to let everything sit? I am well past the 4 week mark. I Made multiple gallon batches at a time and thought more time would be better, but then before I knew it, it’s been about 6 months and I still have several glass jars that haven’t been strained. Can the veggies go bad even though they are in vinegar? Botulism? I used glass mason jars and plastic lids but I didn’t do any type of boiling the jars for the seal. Just put all the ingredients in and put the lid on. They’ve been in a dark cabinet since May. I hope I didn’t ruin everything. I don’t have experience with “canning”. Would love someone who knows about canning to help. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 18, 2019 AT 2:17 pm

        Hey Jace! The fire cider should keep for a few months in the pantry. As long as you don’t see mold growing you should be fine!

    23. Misha
      November 7, 2019 AT 5:38 pm

      I started the batch yesterday and wen’t to do my daily shake and realized my oranges were floating. I opened the jar and without realizing it used a metal fork to push the top pieces down. Think that will have a negative effect because of the metal? And is it okay I opened the lid? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 8, 2019 AT 11:51 pm

        Hey Misha, It should be fine! 🙂

    24. Molly
      October 18, 2019 AT 8:54 am

      Can you reuse the root mix?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 21, 2019 AT 12:47 am

        I’d only recommend using the root mix for one batch.

    25. Aubree
      September 29, 2019 AT 8:42 pm

      I was hoping someone could answer a question. I accidentally added the honey with everything else. Is that ok? Is my cider ruined?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 29, 2019 AT 9:23 pm

        It should be fine, Aubree. It might just be messy/sticky to strain.

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