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Fire ‘Cider’

This apple cider maceration is fiery due to the hot spices it contains.  Fire cider is a classic herbal remedy to boost the immune system during flu and cold, stimulate circulation and enhance digestion.  The finished pressed vinegar can be taken by the spoonful when coming down with a cold, used to prepare a tea with hot water, honey, and lemon, or used to make salad dressing and marinades by combining with olive oil and fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, papayas, avocados, nuts, or feta cheese.


  • 1 horseradish, 6-inch length, peeled and chopped into blender-friendly pieces
  • Garlic, 1 whole bulb, separated into peeled cloves
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 12 habanero peppers, coarsely chopped; leave the seeds for a hotter vinegar
  • Ginger root, fresh, coarsely chopped into blender-friendly pieces
  • Turmeric root, coarsely chopped into blender-friendly pieces


Combine all the fresh spices in a high-speed blender, and cover with apple cider vinegar or other vinegar of choice.  Puree as finely as possible and transfer to several large canning jars.  Allow the chopped herbs to settle, and top off with additional vinegar as needed.    Other variations include adding dried black pepper, dried garlic or onion flakes, or lemon peels and juice.


Shake the canning jar every day for 4-6 weeks, strain once through a wire mesh strainer, and a second time through a muslin or cheesecloth strainer.  Transfer to glass bottles.  The finished medicinal cider will store for several years and does not require refrigeration.


Terry Pfau DO, HMD 

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