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The moment you feel off, grab a tablespoon and start this fire cider recipe to shorten the life of that illness. Fire cider tonic has a whole host of benefits and can help keep you healthier and more whole this year.

A little goes a long way, and even that little bit is quite potent! This recipe works so well and has been a Hansard house staple for many years.

a large mason jar full of ingredients and liquid, wrapped in plastic wrap and a tight fitting black lid

Whenever I have a cold or a tickle in my throat, I take a shot of fire cider. While there are many versions of this tonic in stores, I like to make my own fire cider recipe to save money.

(Warning: This stuff is hardcore. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s become my go-to tonic to quickly rid my body of a cold.)

Table of Contents
  1. Fire Cider Tonic Ingredients
  2. Fire Cider Recipe
  3. Storing Fire Cider
  4. Fire Cider FAQs
  5. Other Natural Home Remedies
  6. Homemade Fire Cider Recipe Recipe
labeled ingredients for homemade fire cider including apple cider vinegar, ginger root, horseradish root, onion+ garlic, jalapeños and lemon.

Fire Cider Tonic Ingredients

To kick intense colds and sickness from your body, you’ve got to use some of the most intense natural foods out there. Let’s take a look at how these incredible ingredients work together to keep the body well.

  • Ginger root– Helps fight infections, including RSV.
  • Horseradish root– Contains powerful antibacterial properties.
  • Onion + Garlic– Both are high in vitamin C, as well as antioxidants.
  • Jalapeños– Loaded with vitamin C and vitamin B6.
  • Lemon– Helps the body absorb iron.
  • Apple Cider VinegarACV has anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties that make it a great base for this fire cider tonic.

With all these benefits packed into one shot, I see why a little fire cider goes a long way in prevention as well as shortening the length of sickness.

glass measuring cup with brownish liquid in it and a strainer sitting on top.

Fire Cider Recipe

  1. Prep all ingredients by chopping, dicing and peeling (as needed). Toss them together in a bowl to combine.
  2. Carefully pour the produce into a quart-sized mason jar, then pour apple cider vinegar over the ingredients until they are all completely submerged. This usually takes 1-2 cups of vinegar, but vary depending on the amount of produce you have in your jar.
  3. Secure the lid of the mason jar then shake vigorously to mix everything together well.
  4. Store your newly created tonic in a dark, cool place for a month (I use the very back of my pantry). Take it out and shake it every few days. This helps to make sure the mixture is fermenting nicely.
  5. After 1 month, pour the contents from the jar through a sieve into a sterilized, clean jar and store in the fridge.

Since you’re chopping up some spicy ingredients, you may or may not be sensitive to them. Wear gloves when chopping the jalapeño pepper and avoid any contact with your face or eyes until after thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water, then with water and baking soda.

How to Take a Natural Tonic

This powerful, all-natural mixture should not be taken lightly! Start with a small dose at first, maybe a tablespoon or so. Take one or two small doses a day until you feel like you’re ready for a full shot glass. Eventually, your body will adjust to the taste and you’ll be able to down it like a pro!

Alternatively, you can add a shot of fire cider to warm water or a mug of warm broth and drink like a warm beverage.

Aside from rest, tea and drinking lots of water, this fire cider recipe is the main thing I use when a cold starts to form. It really works!

Storing Fire Cider

I keep my tonic in a mason jar, with plastic over the mouth, and a lid tightly secured. This keeps the tonic from getting any outside bacteria in it while stored in the fridge. I use this throughout the winter. Tne batch lasts a long time if you’re taking it preventatively.

If you know that cold and flu season hits your household hard, I’d start to make a second batch once the first one is ready for the fridge. That way you have a backup on hand if sickness hits.

dark brown glass jar with white label reading Rawkstar Tonic, a fire cider recipe on a table with a wooden spoon.

Fire Cider FAQs

How does fire cider help?

This tonic uses ingredients that have an ancient history of helping boost immunity, aid in digestion and wake up your body.

When should you drink fire cider?

Hear about the flu going around the office or school? Kids or your partner come home with the sniffles? Do you feel a tickle in your throat? All great reasons to take a shot of fire cider. Or use it in an even more preventative way and take a shot each morning to start the day with a whoop and an immunity boost.

What does fire cider taste like?

This tonic is made with some pretty punch flavors like horseradish, onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño and vinegar. You will definitely taste them all in a well-blended mix, though I think the horseradish and garlic stand out the most to me, with an apple cider vinegar aftertaste.

Other Natural Home Remedies

I know this fire cider tonic isn’t for everyone. It’s pretty intense, even though it’s super effective. If you aren’t ready to give this a try, yet want to bring more natural remedies into your home, check out some of my other great recipes:

My family uses these natural remedies regularly and we haven’t needed medicine or antibiotics for several years. I can’t wait for you to try these too!

Do you have any other home remedies or natural recipes you use during cold and flu season? If so, leave a comment after rating this recipe to let me know!

4.91 from 11 votes

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

Tickly throat? Cough? Congestion? Any time I feel a cold coming on, I start taking shots of my homemade fire cider recipe that'll help a cough and cold naturally and quickly.
Prep: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 30 days
Total: 30 days 30 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Natural Remedy
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 25


  • ½ cup ginger root grated
  • ½ cup horseradish root grated
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves crushed or chopped
  • 2 jalapeño pepper chopped
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar or until full
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  • Dice, peel and chop all ingredients into small pieces and toss into a bowl. (If you've never grated fresh horseradish, it can be intense!)
  • Mix it all together and scoop into a quart-sized mason jar.
  • Pour apple cider vinegar on top of all ingredients until completely submerged.
  • Cover with an airtight lid. You can place a piece of parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal or use a plastic lid if you have one.
  • Shake well.
  • Store in a dark, cool place for a month (like the back of a pantry) and shake every few days.
  • After a month, pour contents through a sieve to separate the liquid from the solids.
  • Pour the liquid that went through the sieve in a sterilized clean jar in the fridge. When you feel the onset of a tickly throat, congestion or cough, take a shot glass full of this a few times a day.


  • Scrub your hands with water and baking soda after cutting the horseradish and pepper to get any residue off your hands before touching your face or eyes. 
  • Other recipes include different spices, so feel free to add what you want most to the mixture before letting it set.
  • Instead of taking it shot style, you can also add 1-2 tbsp of fire cider to warm water and turn it into tea. It really helps clear your sinuses.
  • Mix 1-2 tbsp of fire cider with warm broth for a warming beverage.


Calories: 10kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 0.2g, Fat: 0.03g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.004g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 37mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.4g, Vitamin A: 12IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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  1. 5 stars
    Getting stuff for this today! Sickness hit our house and we’ve been utilizing the vapor rub but had to by some store-bought fire cider to tide us over. Getting this ready for the next time.

  2. Okay, so after my last comment, I made sure I wore gloves and was super careful with the jalapenos. It was decanting time this last weekend and all I can say is …. YUUUUUUUUUUM. Most posters have been saying they have to ignore the flavour, but I find this utterly DELICIOUS. I have to stop at two shot glasses when I want to keep drinking! Thank you for this recipe. I love it!

  3. I made this up last night and had a terrible case of jalapeno burn. I’m not overly familiar with jalapenos, so I’m concerned now – can I drink something that gave me such a bad reaction on the skin?

    1. Oooh T! Make sure to follow the directions with this one. It’s not for the faint of heart! After it’s made, it should sit to ferment for at least a month before using, making sure to shake the jar every few days. Then the fire cider should be strained through a sieve, and only a shot glass worth consumed at a time. If you make it and then immediately drink it, that could result in burning from the jalapeño for sure!

  4. hi jen,

    iis it safe to leave in the pantry for a month if you live in a very hot, humid climate?
    is it better to leave it in the fridge instead for one month before consuming, or will it not work if done in this way?
    thank-you for your help, and for the recipe.
    have not been able to buy horseradish, or jalapenos where i live, will it still work without these two ingredients.

    1. 5 stars
      Brenda, if you live in a hot climate such as south Florida, Louisiana, or Texas, and don’t have air-conditioning in your home, there are ways around it. You can generally find a spot cool enough on the floor in your pantry. Just be watchful of the jar. The ingredients are covered in vinegar so they should be okay. If your really concerned about the temp, you can find a spot outside that is shaded for the hottest part of the day. Dig a hole deep and wide enough to fit a 5 gallon bucket in it with the lid about 4+6 inches below ground. Put the bucket in the hole and the jar in the bucket. But remember it needs to be shaken every few days. You can put it in the fridge, bit the fermentation process will be greatly slowed. Or you can get a mini fridge, set it on its warmest setting and stick it in there.

      1. Great advice for all us warm climate rawkstars, Tim. Thanks!

  5. Hi Jen,

    Could you blend all the solids up in a Vitamix or equivalent, then add the ACV? I hate to dispose of beneficial fiber and such…

    1. Hey there Wayne – interesting question! Since you’re not consuming huge quantities of this at a time, we’re not sure how much fiber you’d really benefit from by blending instead. Yet, it sure wouldn’t hurt! When blending though, you may need to add a touch of water as the liquid from the lemon may not be enough in this case. If you give it a try, def let us know how it works for you!

    2. 5 stars
      I’d blend it after fermenting. The cell structure will be pretty week at this point and should blend easily. You can even use a blade from most standard blenders right on the mason jar you fermented it in.

  6. Can you buy it anywhere or do you suggest making your own? I want to start it NOW!!

    1. Hey Patti – Oooh good question! Homemade is always best, yet if you’d like to get started taking it now you could try Shire City’s Fire Cider. It’s widely available (check your local health food store) and will do until you can get your own batch made. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    This stuff WORKS. I haven’t had to take cold/flu meds for 2 years now, just using this along with the lemon, ginger, honey tea. Incredibly helpful, even if I have a hard time with the taste (I plug my nose when taking a shot!).

  8. Hi there, I cannot find horsradish root anywhere…Can you use already pre grated horseradish root with no other active ingredients? Thanks!

    1. Rebecca, I think that would be fine to use. As long as it’s just pre-grated horseradish root and nothing else.

  9. Hello! Hello!
    Can pregnant women and nursing mothers use this? There’s so little we CAN use when we’re sick. I already swear by apple cider vinegar, but I would love to give it an extra boost.

    1. Hi Aftan,

      It’s always best to check with your physician before adding anything new to your diet – especially with baby. They know what’s best for you + your body throughout your pregnancy!


  10. Will it still work if it doesn’t sit for a full month? Like if I start it now, can I let it sit for 2 week and take it before Easter?