How to Make Fire Cider



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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.
4.64 from 73 votes

How to Make Fire Cider

An immune-boosting health tonic with fresh horseradish, ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and honey. 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Steeping Time: 28 days
Total Time: 28 days 30 minutes
Servings: 1 quart


  • ½ cup freshly peeled and grated ginger root
  • ½ 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
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup raw honey, or to taste


  • Add ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, jalapeño peppers, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, turmeric and cayenne powder into quart-sized glass jar.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add honey to the liquid and stir until incorporated.
  • Taste your fire cider and add more honey if needed until you reach your desired sweetness.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or in a cold, dark place.
  • 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.


Serving: 2 Tablespoons | Calories: 16kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 36mg | Sugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Tonics
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fire cider
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Haha Brittany, I saw raw onions and garlic and the bejeezus quite literally left my body. I’m sure it’s super good for you though!

    1. 5 stars
      The other name for this is death juice, but it does work
      I would recommend blending the ingredients though

  2. Hey I’m excited tp try this. Do i need to stick them in boiling water like you do canning to seal?or is clean from the dishwasher fine?

    1. unpasteurized would be MUCH better as it is a living food with benefits that are lost if pasteurized. you would still get some benefit using pasteurized vinegar i reckon.

    1. It should keep for a few months at room temperature for a few months but if you store it in the fridge it should keep 1-2 years. Hope this helps.

  3. Ginger doesn’t need to be peeled most of it’s grown hydroponically anyways, everything should be organic and I threw everything except the jalapenos, rosemary and onions into the blender at medium grind and it works fine everytime if you strain it out at the end.

  4. So, what if I stupidly added the honey to the mix from the start? Other than being a sticky mess when filtering do you foresee any issues?

  5. 5 stars
    Is this a tincture or not? I feel frustrated by the lack of clarity between tinctures, potions, and brews. Please advise.

  6. I made mine on 12/10/18. Been in the fridge the past few months and I’m straining the liquid today. I hate tossing the leftovers and wondering if I could add more Apple cider vinegar to the leftovers and brew another batch. It wouldn’t be as strong, but might work. Thoughts?

  7. What happens if its been setting for 10 weeks? Is it still salvageable? This first time making it and then family issues happened so was forgotten about.

  8. 5 stars
    This is so delicious I want to chug the whole jar! I have tried fire cider once in the past and wanted to try and make it myself. The only thing I did different was substitute honey for agave nectar to make it vegan. I will be making this again for sure.

  9. It would be nice if you would give proper attribution to the recipe since it is not your own. You said you found it so why not give the creator credit?

  10. I forgot to add the lemon juice and I only had 1tsp of turmeric to add. Is this going to be an issue for the recipe?

    My second question is: I’m keeping it in the cupboard but it’s not you recommend the fridge instead?

    Thank you

  11. Hello! I was curious…could I juice the fire cider recipe and use it right away or does it for sure need to sit a month? I feel like the juicer would infuse everything while pressing (cold pressed) but wasn’t sure if it needed to sit in order to ferment or solely to infuse. Thanks in advance 🙂

  12. Hello! Any thoughts on substituting powdered organic horseradish for the fresh? According to all the retailers in my area, horseradish root can only be had around the holidays (i.e.- December) where I am located. I would love to get a batch started before then!

    1. Shoot! I’m sorry that you’re not able to find fresh horseradish in your area. I honestly don’t think it would work as well with powered horseradish and I’m not sure how much to recommend that you use. Maybe try searching for a fire cider recipe that uses dried? Sorry that’s not much help, but I really do think fresh horseradish will work best.

    2. If you watch the video on Mountain Rose Herb it shows them making it with powdered horseradish and powdered ginger!

  13. 5 stars
    I was hoping someone could answer a question. I accidentally added the honey with everything else. Is that ok? Is my cider ruined?

  14. 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!

  15. 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. 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!

      1. 5 stars
        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. Hey Sam! How you did it with a square piece of parchment paper is perfect and you should be good! 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    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.

  17. 5 stars
    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. 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. 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. 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.

  19. 5 stars
    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. 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.

  20. 3 stars
    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?

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

    1. 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.

  22. 5 stars
    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. 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!!

  23. 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. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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. 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?

  26. 5 stars
    PLEASE HELP. I just made this 2 days ago and the garlic is turning blue. I forgot to put parchment to cover metal lid, so I don’t know if it’s a reaction to the metal. Garlic is solid, doesn’t smell bad, but blue. Do I need to toss the whole thing? I separated garlic to another jar.

    1. Hey Betty, It seems safe to eat from the research I did. It seems like it might be from the vinegar. Here’s an article that might be helpful.

      1. 5 stars
        It seems as you have all of the answers but i may add that My Great Great Ma who was Cherokee who made it with onions, garlic, hot pepper, oregano and acv had a weight loosing drink with no side effects, I drink a tablespoon twice a day. No need to hide it in a dark place just shake it every day in and out of the fridge. It can be used as season on meat, chicken ,fish, and veggies. Enjoy

  27. 5 stars
    I like all of the ingredients but can it have side effects to certain meds? ie:blood pressure meds rc.

  28. Hey i have a question, how is it possible to obtain 1 quart of fire cider if i pour less than 1 quart of ACV (because of the space filled by onion, horseradish, ginger, etc…) ? I mean we are suppose to have less than 1 quart, right ?

    1. You could make this recipe in a larger jar to make more cider. The full recipe will yield a little less than 1 quart.

  29. 5 stars
    This recipe is my favorite version of fire cider. Turns out perfect! My son has long-hauler Covid symptoms and this helps him so much.

    1. I’m so glad this cider has been able to help! Thanks so much for the review, Pam. I really appreciate it!

  30. I’m looking to make it, but beforehand I have a question. The recipe calls for a glass jar but can it be fermented/stored in a plastic container (Tupperware or Rubbermaid)? Thanks

  31. I did this last year and I am getting ready to do another batch. once it’s fermented I transfer it back into the glass bottles the apple cider vinegar came in. This stuff works well for my allergies and sinus infection. I use this year-round as needed when my allergies act up. I have not had a sinus infection this year. I usually get 4 a year at least.

    1. Any ferment is going to produce small amounts of alcohol, but without feeding it like beer or wine, home ferments are typically around .5%.

  32. Is it best to store in the fridge or outside of it for the 28 day period? Then if outside, should it be placed in the fridge after straining to make it last longer?

      1. I made your recipe and bottled in April 2020. I made a double batch and have half left, which I just checked today, 20 months later. It seems fine since all the solids were strained and only fine particles of solids remain at be the bottom. Hope it is still good but being vinegar this should keep for a very long time.

  33. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe. I made recipe in a 1 litre jar, then transfered to 1.5 litre jar and added, 500ml of fresh homemade regular apple cider. See how it tastes when it’s done. Cheers

  34. I accidentally put the honey in with all the other ingredients prior to the 4 weeks. Is this okay or does it mess up the fermentation process?

  35. 5 stars
    I am in week two of creation. It smells amazing. I added cara oranges and gala apples. The taste I had leads me to believe I won’t need any honey. Amazing this. I swirl it each morning and it smells so god I just want to drink it. Thank you so much!

    1. Woo!! That makes me so happy to hear, Kitkat! Thanks for coming back to leave a review and star rating. It means the world to me.

  36. 5 stars
    Looks great! I chopped my veggies really finely and everything is floating. How can I weight the solids down so it doesn’t spoil?

    1. Hi, Katherine. As long as you shake it every morning you should be fine. You could try using natural parchment paper to create a barrier if you find it necessary.

    1. Hi Ck. Fresh horseradish is best but if you can’t find it anywhere then prepared/jarred horseradish should work fine. Look for one with minimal ingredients (just horseradish, vinegar and salt). Let me know how it turns out for you.

    1. Hi, Douglas. Great question! I don’t recommend subbing all the fresh ingredients with the powdered form. This recipe is meant to be made with fresh horseradish, onion and garlic for the most health benefits.

  37. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe and I can say, it’s much tastier than drinking plain apple cider vinegar. It’s has a bit of a kick due to the cayenne and jalapeño but is VERY good. I have also had the store bought version and this recipe is SPOT ON!

  38. Hey Brittany. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Here’s my question. It says to store in a cool dark place. I put mine in the back of my pantry. Here’s the question…my house is btw 68-78 degrees. Is that cool enough?!

    1. Hi Tracy – those temperatures should be fine! Thank you for trying this recipe out, I appreciate it!

  39. Can’t wait to make this! We’ve been making our own elderberry for years and this sounds like the perfect addition to our natural immune collection. I have a question. Could I throw all of the solids into a food processor and pulse it a couple times instead of chopping?

    1. Hey Jessica – I haven’t tried that, but I don’t see why not! Let me know if you end up making this and what you think!

  40. 5 stars
    I don’t have parchment paper

    So I literally used the metal lid.
    I didn’t have parchment paper.
    So I hope that’s okay. I used a fabric cloth to shake it up. And then put the lid on if that counts.

    1. Hi Lauren – I would just be cautious because the parchment paper acts as a barrier. 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.

    1. I would recommend waiting a minimum of 4 weeks before opening, straining and drinking for the best results.

  41. How much ACV should be used in this recipe? All the ingredients in the recipe list show the amounts except for the ACV.

    1. You just need enough apple cider vinegar to cover all the ingredients so it will vary based on how much space all the ingredients take up in the jar. I would assume you’ll need somewhere around 2-3 cups.

  42. 5 stars
    Great recipe! It tastes way better than I thought it would! Here’s hoping it keeps cold and the flu away! Thanks for sharing!

  43. I plan to make this for the cold and flu season but have just come down with a bug already and wondered if you could share any clean or organic brand I can purchase since currently I need to start it today! Thanks

  44. Where do you get the Horseradish? I live in Richmond, so you could recommend a local store! Thanks for all of your great recipes!

    1. Hi Kim – You can get fresh horseradish as most any grocery store, Whole Foods always has a great selection. It’ll be in the produce section. Hope that helps!

    1. I would recommend it, but you don’t have to. Fresh is best for optimal results though. Hope you enjoy!