Fire Cider

Fire cider is a traditional medicine and health-improving tonic used for centuries, and it’s incredibly simple and satisfying to make.

Essentially, you take a stack of fresh foods that have loads of nutrients & medicinal properties (antiviral, antibacterial, anti inflammatory etc), steep them in apple cider vinegar for a month or more, strain, mix with honey and then drink a bit every day. You can take a shot, or mix a couple of tablespoons with warm water to drink, or you could add it to salad dressings, finishing sauces or even make jelly gummies with it. If you feel yourself coming down with a cold, take a shot every 3-4 hours during the day.

Throughout history, the recipe would vary from family to family, and depending what’s available, it’ll be different from season to season. Typically, though, it will contain chilli, ginger, garlic, herbs and honey. It’s a great thing to make at the end of summer when you’re pruning back herbs, and apples are in abundance so you can replenish the vinegar supplies you use in making this.

In this batch we’ve got chopped ginger, galangal, garlic, lemon slices, half an apple, chillies, onion, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, sage, chives, horseradish leaves and black pepper. It feels quite instinctive to make, so writing a recipe feels almost like overkill, but we’ve set down a kind of guide on how you *might* make it to help you for the first couple of times. After that, we reckon you’ll just wing it with what you’ve got, and it’ll turn out a little bit different each time.


To make roughly 1.5L of finished cider

  • 1.5-2L Apple Cider Vinegar OR Apple Scrap Vinegar. Raw vinegar with the ‘mother’ in it is preferable but it’ll work with distilled ACV too.
  • 1 lemon
  • Piece of ginger – 5-10cm long
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3-5 whole fresh chillies
  • Fresh thyme – a few stalks, stem and all
  • Fresh rosemary – 2-3 long sprigs, stems removed
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Horseradish (if you can get it ) – thumb sized piece
  • Black pepper, whole – 20 or so
  • Other possible ingredients include galangal, sage, chives, orange, rosehips, elderberry (be aware these will make your fire cider pink)


  1. Chop everything into small bits. add to a large jar.
  2. Cover with vinegar and close lid tightly.
  3. Leave on a cool bench out of the sunlight. Give it a shake every couple of days for a month or so.
  4. Strain well and store Fire Cider in a bottle in a cool dark place. Add a dash of raw honey before bottling if you want.

Permaculture Principle 2: Catch and store energy; 5: Use and value renewable resources and services; 10: Use and value diversity

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