by popular request: Krystal's fire cider recipe
Fire cider is the name of an herbal vinegar tonic that’s been made since the late ‘70's. It’s an excellent example of something that’s both “medicine” and food - and is as versatile as it is easy to make.
Making fire cider in the Fall is a great way to prep for the Winter months and create a delicious condiment that doubles as a potent tonic for keeping illness at bay.
The general idea is to use a variety of whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand — and create a spicy, tangy, sweet vinegar that can clear your sinuses and pucker your mouth - in the best way!
About 10 years ago, however, some large company decided to trademark the name “fire cider”.
This forced hundreds of small businesses and individual herbalists to either change the name of their traditional fire cider recipes, quit selling, or face legal action!
Many of these small producers had been making fire cider for over a decade before this company tried to monopolize the name as “their product”…
Traditional herbalist Rosemary Gladstar and others fought back against this, and finally won in a court case.
As of 2019, Fire Cider has been ruled as a generic term used in the herbal and natural health community. Tradition over trademarks!
Back in October 2016, I tried making fire cider for the first time.
I wrote down exactly what I put together, just in case this first-ever batch had some special beginner’s magic in it - or else, to compare notes when I made something better later!
The whole point is to create something unique to you - not to follow a recipe exactly.
I encourage you to add or edit the ingredients and quantities depending on what you have on hand. One of the coolest things about fire cider is that making it is more of an art than a science.
However - our friends especially enjoyed this one, and one of them keeps asking me to send them my fire cider recipe.
This post is for you, Cody.
Krystals’ Fire Cider Recipe:
1/2-3/4 cup fresh horseradish root, grated or shredded (I highly recommend a food processor if you have one - because this is an intense process when done by hand!)
1/2 cup fresh ginger root, grated/shredded
2-3 inch piece fresh turmeric root, grated/shredded (or 1T dried)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapeños, sliced (from your garden is ideal, because they carry the signature of your land and your energy)
10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of one lemon (use a microplaner to get that zest in the jar!)
2-4 slices (3 tsp.) dried reishi mushroom, roughly chopped (for that adaptogenic boost)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1T dried)
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1T dried)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is a good brand - it’s supposed to look cloudy and feel alive)
Raw honey to taste (to be added later)
1 quart-size mason jar with two-part lid
How to make it:
Put everything but the vinegar and honey into the mason jar, packing it down tightly. Cover it to the brim with apple cider vinegar, pop the lid on, and then store in a cool, dark place.
Shake your brew daily for a month—the jar should be closed but not tightly sealed, as ferments give off CO2 and can explode if they’re under too much pressure! “Burping” the jar every week by slightly opening it until you hear a hiss of air escape will prevent this.
After 4 weeks, strain out the solids, then add raw honey to taste. Your fire cider is ready to use!
I store mine in the fridge at this point, but you don’t need to.
This will keep until you’re ready to make another batch for next season!
You can use fire cider in stir-frys or salad dressings, or take spoonfuls as needed for a major immune-boost!
Rosemary Gladstar’s traditional fire cider recipe + many uses for it can be found here.
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