What’s fire cider? Wikipedia describes it perfectly: “a pungent concoction made of apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic and horseradish, sometimes with citrus, ginger, and hot peppers. It is steeped for weeks and used once it becomes tangy and hot. This home remedy drink is utilized to strengthen the immune system and ward off cold-weather illness.”
As a fermented beverage (from cider vinegar), it is one of the more forgiving fermented drinks: you can add what you like, experiment with different ingredients, and maintain shelf stability. We are right in the thick of cold and flu season, so fire cider can help take the edge off a cold, and provide liquid nutrition. It is a complex, invigorating brew.
Interestingly, after a trademark dispute, a Massachusetts judge ruled in 2019 that “fire cider” is a generic term unable to be trademarked. You can find fire ciders for sale at health food stores – but why not make your own?
Fire cider is not standardized, so as a folk recipe, it is certain to be different depending on the maker. As a whole, its health claims have not been verified, but its component ingredients often contain helpful properties, such as the apple cider vinegar’s known antibacterial and antioxidant qualities.
Making fire cider is a great activity for kids, as it helps with motor skills, learning about cooking, and identifying different natural ingredients. We found a great book that can get you started. Take it a step further and forage for your ingredients!
There is also the pickle shot, which athletes use to combat cramps; and the gut shot – a shot-sized blast of probiotics and other natural goodies to keep the gut – often thought of as our other mind – healthy.
Cider has gone firey – let us know your favorite recipes.