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7 February 2018

Learn how to make your own homemade fire cider, a healthy folk remedy that aids digestion and helps ward off the flu and the common cold, among other health benefits. Here is the recipe.

As I began to delve into the world of fermenting for making hot sauces and other recipes from my garden grown fruits and vegetables, I inevitably came across “Fire Cider”. If you haven’t heard of Fire Cider, it is basically a very tangy tonic of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar infused with healthy root vegetables and other natural ingredients.

What is Fire Cider?

Fire cider has been long touted as a folk remedy for generations, said to combat the flu and even the common cold among other things, including aiding digestion and boosting the immune system.

We became interested in Fire Cider because Patty had developed some stomach ailments related to digestive problems and we were looking for something more natural to help her.

It is typically made with raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar containing “The Mother”, which is a collection of  proteins and friendly bacteria that assists with digestion.

The vineger is infused with onion, ginger, horseradish, peppers, garlic and fruits, though you’ll find that some recipes vary in the specific ingredients and ratios.

For example, we’ve found that onions sometimes cause Patty some digestive discomfort, so we’ve omitted them from our recipe.

Homemade Fire Cider while it is infusing

How to Make Fire Cider – The Recipe Method

Making homemade fire cider is quite simple. In a nutshell, you’ll scrub and peel all of your root vegetables, and scrub all of the fruits.

Everything gets chopped or diced, then set into a couple of large sealable jars.

Fire Cider ingredients before apple cider vinegar is added

Pour raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar over the ingredients and give them a solid shake.

Pouring apple cider vinegar over the roots and fruit

Set it into a cool, dark place and let the vinegar become infused with the ingredients for about a month or so. As mentioned, ingredients can vary, as long as they are healthy and natural, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.

With fire cider, you have a natural drink that helps boost the immune system.

Homemade Fire Cider ready for infusing

Using Fire Cider

I can tell you, it’s great stuff on a cold winter day. Take a shot of it and feel the warmth from the spicy chili peppers. If you feel it will be too spicy, you can easily cut back on or omit the peppers, though I would encourage you to keep them for the great Health Benefits of Chili Peppers.

We used a bit of fermented habanero pepper mash with our recipe, though fresh chili peppers are more traditional. We were looking for the additional health benefit of the fermented mash.

See How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash for more information on that.

Why Make Fire Cider at Home?

Making fire cider at home not only allows you to control what goes into your end product, but it is WAY cheaper to make at home. When we were looking into fire cider to help with Patty’s digestive issue, we were both surprised at how expensive it is to purchase.

There are a few products available on the market, and WOW were they pricey. We can make a large batch at home for a fraction of the cost, and we can make it as hot as we want it.


Keep it on hand as a natural health and immunity booster. Take a tablespoon or two per day, or a tangy shot whenever you’re in the mood. If you feel your fire cider is too tart, swirl in a bit of honey to sweeten it up.


I hope you enjoy your homemade fire cider, my friends! Shoot over your questions. We’re happy to discuss.

Patty’s Perspective

The biggest reason I wanted to make this is because of my recent digestive issues. I wasn’t sure how well it would work for me, but was pleasantly surprised (if not ecstatic) at how well it is working for me. Now I have little to no symptoms and have been able to cut back on other pills I was taking. It’s a big relief. Highly recommended. We plan to keep experimenting mainly with flavors. I even took it with us on vacation, it’s that good for me.

Fire Cider Variations

You can use different herbs, spices and root vegetables in your fire cider recipe. If a particular ingredient doesn’t agree with you, such as onions or horseradish, omit them and replace them with something more palatable.

Consider the world of herbs available to you, other spice powders, berries, fruits, and of course, the entire world of chili pepper types out there.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Cider

How Long does Fire Cider Keep and Should it Be Refrigerated?

Fire cider will last many, many months, as it is basically infused vinegar. I keep ours in the fridge where it will last almost indefinitely, though it really only lasts a few months TOPS for me.

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! — Mike H.

Homemade Fire Cider - Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Homemade Fire Cider - Recipe

Learn how to make your own homemade version of this healthy folk remedy that aids digestion and helps ward off the flu and the common cold, among other health benefits.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time28 d
Total Time28 d 20 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fire cider, healthy, tonic
Servings: 48
Calories: 11kcal


  • 1 6-7 inch horseradish root scrubbed, peeled and finelydiced
  • 1 6-7 inch ginger root scrubbed, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 6-7 inch turmeric root scrubbed, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 heads garlic peeled and finely diced
  • 6 tablespoons habanero pepper mash See How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash or use 3-4 fresh habanero peppers, chopped
  • 1 orange quartered
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 3 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 2 quarts raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with The "Mother")


  • Add all of the ingredients to a couple of 2-quart Ball jars or canning jars. Make sure there is enough raw apple cider vinegar to cover the ingredients.
  • Shake and let sit in a cool, dark place like your cupboard for 4 weeks, shaking occasionally.
  • Strain and use as needed.


NOTE: You can add in a bit of honey if you'd like a sweeter version.
Yield: About 1.5 quarts or so.
The calories are based on about 1 tablespoon per serving.
See How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash for more information.


Calories: 11kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 24mg | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 5.3mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Homemade Fire Cider - Recipe



    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sarah, as long as the bottles are very clean, you should be fine. Enjoy.

  1. Oona Younger

    Can you use chili peppers that have started to turn red?
    Also, I’ve put citric fruit in my fire cider but am wondering about berries, basically for taste but also for anti-oxidant properties?
    Thank you!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Oona. Absolutely. Go for it. Same with berries. Such a wonderful addition in flavor. Enjoy!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Marie, no need to burp them, as there is no fermentation. I hope you enjoy it.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi, I can’t find Horseradish, can I use regula pink radish or add more ginger and turmeric instead of the Horseradish

  3. Once strained. Take all the spices and bake in a very low oven until dry, blitz in a food processor and you have a great spice mix to add to your cooking.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Oleksandr, there is no alcohol in this recipe. Yes, children can drink it, though it may be spicy, depending on the peppers used.

  4. I have a larger glass jar with a plastic latch hook lid (101 oz) . I was able only to fill the jar half way with ingredients and vegetables, is this safe ? Do I need to fill jar to top ? I noticed pieces of my garlic have a green color..first time making this wasn’t sure if that was normal or due to half filling.
    Thank you

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      T, this is completely fine. You don’t need to fill the jar. Just keep everything submerged beneath the brine. Greenish/bluish garlic is normal as enzymes in the garlic break down and interact with sulfur contained in the garlic. The acidity of the brine is a factor as well.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Liz, yes, you can. 2 weeks is plenty of time to let the flavor develop. You’ll get even more after a month, but no problem with 2 weeks. Let me know how you like it!

  5. I’ve seen some recipes say before closing jars to infuse for a few weeks you should put parchment paper first and then seal the lid- do you do this? I’m not sure what it’s for or if it’s necessary, so just curious!

    Thank you!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Becky, I have not seen this, but doesn’t seem like it would be an issue.

    2. 5 stars
      Becky it is because if you are using a metal lid, the vinegar can corrode it, causing rusting.

    3. The concern with the lid is that if it is metal or aluminmum. The acid from the recicpe could cause a reaction in the lid. If the lid is lined by the mfg or with parchment the reaction from acid would not occur, according to what I have read.

  6. Instead of straining, can one just put everything into a blender in order to keep the fiber?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Laura, everything is edible (except for the lemon peels), so technically you should be able to blend and consume. It won’t be a cider, though, but more of a sauce, and I’m not sure of the consistency. If you try it, let me know how it turns out for you.

  7. Katrina McAlister

    5 stars
    I am about to make my 2nd batch of your fire cider. I was wondering if it’s alright to leave the peel on the garlic bulbs, horseradish, turmeric and ginger, since it will all be strained out eventually? I am using a food processor to chop everything. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Katrina. I’m glad you like it. You really don’t have to peel the skins from the garlic, horseradish, turmeric or ginger. You can leave the peels intact, though be sure to wash them thoroughly first. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  8. Why a dark place and cool? Wouldn’t warmth speed up the fermentation?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Roxanne, you’ll get the best flavors fermenting between 65 degrees F – 72 degrees F (18-22 degrees C). You’re right, though, fermenting will go faster at higher temperatures, but you may not get the best flavors.

  9. crissaenz

    how long does this keep and should it eventually be refrigerated?

    REPLY: Crissaenz, it will last many, many months, as it is basically infused vinegar. I keep ours in the fridge where it will last almost indefinitely, though it really only lasts a few months TOPS for me. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  10. Mike;
    Where do you get raw tumeric root? Can powdered tumeric tablets be sustituted?
    We have been making a tonic of vinegar and honey in water for quite a while but I like the idea of
    the fire cider.

    REPLY: Kevin, I found some at our local grocer in the produce area. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  11. Make sure you rinse after drinking it (or have it before a meal). ACV is very corrosive on the teeth.

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