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Fire Cider

Fire cider is a folk remedy beloved for its fiery flavor and its ability to clear your sinuses like nothing else! Brew up a jar at home and keep it on hand all through cold season.

Fire cider in glass with sprig of rosemary and lemon slice

Many people swear by apple cider vinegar, drinking a shot with breakfast every morning and adding it to whatever they can, from vegan salad dressings to sparkling water. (I even use it to make a natural all-purpose cleaner!) But if you want to take apple cider vinegar to the next level, it’s time to up your game with fire cider.

Herbalists believe fire cider supports the immune system and digestion. What’s undeniable, though, is its ability to warm you up from the inside out—and clear your nose when it’s feeling stuffy!

Fire cider is tangy thanks to its apple cider vinegar base, but as you might guess from the name, its dominant flavor is strong and spicy. Everyone has their own version, but most include some variation of onion, garlic, hot peppers, lemon, ginger, turmeric, horseradish, and herbs.

Overhead view of fire cider ingredients in jar

Why You’ll Love This Fire Cider Recipe

Here’s why you should make a batch of fire cider ASAP:

  • It'll clear your sinuses. You know how when you eat something spicy, your nose starts running? Fire cider has a similar effect!
  • Easy to make. You can whip up a batch of fire cider in no time—just add everything to a jar and let it steep. It's also customizable so you can adjust the ingredients based on what you have on hand or can find at your local grocery store.
  • Add some spice to your life. If you love the kick you get from a shot of straight ginger juice or always opt for the highest spice level when you order Thai food for dinner, you’ll appreciate this fire cider recipe.
Overhead view of ingredients for fire cider

What You’ll Need 

Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need when making fire cider. Make sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact quantities for each ingredient. 

  • Onion – Any kind is fine, but white onions have the sharpest flavor. (Which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on how strong you want your fire cider!)
  • Garlic 
  • Fresh ginger – You can substitute dried if you prefer.
  • Horseradish – Fresh horseradish is a root, often sold alongside ginger at the grocery store.
  • Turmeric – You’ll also find fresh turmeric root near the ginger. You can substitute ground turmeric if you’re not able to buy fresh.
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme
  • Cinnamon stick – Or substitute dried cinnamon.
  • Lemon and lime – It’s fine to leave the rind on, but if you’re not using organic, be sure to scrub it well.
  • Habanero peppers – Or another hot pepper variety.
  • Raw honey
  • Apple cider vinegar – Use raw, unfiltered vinegar.

What Is the Difference Between Cassia and Cinnamon?

Cassia and cinnamon are used interchangeably in baking, but they are actually two different spices. Cassia is a type of cinnamon that comes from the bark of the cassia tree, while true cinnamon is made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. It has a naturally sweet, less bitter flavor, which is why I like to use it in my fire cider.

How to Make Fire Cider

Making your own fire cider is easy—but it does require some patience! Here’s what you’ll need to do.

  • Assemble. Layer the ingredients in a glass jar and pour in enough apple cider vinegar to cover them. 
  • Steep. Seal the jar and let it sit at room temperature in a dark place for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Strain. Pour the mixture into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, pressing the ingredients with the back of a spoon to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  • Sweeten. Add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness.
  • Store. Pour the strained liquid into a clean glass jar. 
Two bottles of fire cider set next to jar of honey with dipper

Tips for Success

Follow these tips to make sure your fire cider turns out perfect:

  • Choose organic. Because the ingredients will be infusing into the vinegar for a few weeks, it’s absolutely worth it to spring for all organic herbs, spices, and produce. 
  • Use a glass jar. Plastic containers can leach chemicals into the fire cider.
  • Be patient. Don’t rush the process! For maximum strength, the mixture really does need to sit for 2 to 3 weeks.

How to Use Fire Cider

There are many ways you can incorporate fire cider into your daily routine and reap its benefits. You could take a 1 to 2 tablespoon shot every day, but if it’s a little to strong for you, you can mix it with warm water and honey or combine it with sparkling water.

You can also add fire cider to salad dressings or even marinades for a flavorful kick. Try using fire cider in a hot toddy when you’re under the weather!

Pouring fire cider from bottle into glass

How to Store

Fire cider can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months, as long as it's kept out of direct sunlight. Shake the bottle well before using it, as some settling may occur. 

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

Since fire cider lasts 6 months at room temperature, there’s really no need to freeze it, although you can if you’d like. I recommend freezing it in an ice cube tray for shot-sized portions.

Top down view of fire cider in glass with lemon wedges and rosemary sprig

More Recipes Made With Apple Cider Vinegar

Shot of fire cider with jar of honey, lemon, and lime in background

Fire Cider

5 from 1 vote
Fire cider is beloved for its fiery flavor and its ability to clear your sinuses like nothing else! Keep it on hand all through cold season.
author: Alyssa
Two bottles of fire cider set next to jar of honey with dipper
Prep: 15 minutes
Steeping Time: 14 days
Total: 14 days 15 minutes


  • 1 small onion , diced
  • 6 garlic cloves , sliced
  • cup chopped fresh ginger ( or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • cup grated horseradish
  • cup peeled and chopped fresh turmeric (or 2 tablespoons powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 cinnamon (not cassia) stick (or 1 teaspoon powdered )
  • 1 whole lemon chopped
  • 1 whole lime chopped
  • 2 whole fresh habanero peppers (or different chile peppers) chopped
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 3 cups of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar or add more if you need to cover all


  • Prepare all of your ingredients and layer into a clean glass jar. Then cover them with the apple cider vinegar.
  • Cover the jar with a lid and let it sit at room temperature in a dark place for 2-3 weeks.
  • Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a bowl, pressing the ingredients with the back of a spoon to release as much liquid as possible, and discard everything else.
  • Add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness.
  • Pour the strained liquid into a clean glass jar. Cover with a lid and store at room temperature out of the sun for up to 6 months.
  • Take 1-2 tablespoons daily for a potent punch of immune system support.
cuisine: American
course: Drinks

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