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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!

4.93 from 13 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
    I made this back from Nov-Dec and really wanted to try it out. I finally got the chance when I woke up with a scratchy throat and a stuffy nose a week ago! For me, that usually means an automatic 5-10 days of swollen eyes, sore throat, and fuzzy head. This time, I took 1 tablespoon a day for three days and by the fourth day, I woke up and my symptoms were completely gone! I took an extra tablespoon on the fourth day just to be sure, although I was already feeling better. I’ve already promised to give some of my batch to some friends and I will definitely be sharing this all-natural remedy!

    1. Hi Holly,

      Yea, love that this recipe helped kick your bug to the curb! 🙂

    1. Hi Marion,

      Yes! That added spice will help kick your cold or flu to the curb!

    1. Hi Shay,

      The fire cider will keep at least 6 months and probably up to a year if kept from temperature fluctuations and out of direct sunlight.

  2. I just put this crazy jar of fire together tonight and I’m oddly excited for it. QUESTION: When you shake it every few days, do you open the lid for a minute to let the gasses out or anything like that?

  3. 4 stars
    Wow, this is similar to a concoction my friend called Kill-a-virus (not sure who came up with the name). She gave us some and we used it up. She would never give us the recipe because she felt it was too much trouble. The difference I can detect is straining out the liquid from the rest…after a fermenting period. I think she just left it all in together. This seems better. I can’t wait to do this!

  4. Heya!
    Theres no horseradish where I live. Is there any alternative? I’m sure I can try finding regular radish.
    Same with jalapenos. Would regular green chilly do?

    1. Hi Yas,

      No horseradish? No worries! Just swap out the horseradish for more ginger. So you’ll be adding 1 cup overall. No jalapeños? Swap in another spicy pepper you love!

  5. I have very bad reactions to jalapeno peppers – I wonder if this would work without them? I think it would still be a bit strong.

    1. HI Tammy,

      Yes! You can definitely make this recipe without the jalapeños!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe works people!!’ After searching for alternative cold medicine for weeks I stumble into this awesome remedy. I started putting everything together with excitement, fermented for 1 month and started the process again. I got sick with a terrible cold and right awai took 1T. Every 2hrs, for 1week and BAM COLD GONE. THANK YOU JEN!!’ I shared this with EVERYONE.

    1. Hi Charlotte,

      A plant-based milk can be a great option to help cool down the “fire”!

    2. Charlotte, my husband and I chase it with a very small amount of pineapple juice (Trader Joe’s has it with no added sugars). It helps tame the flavors of the cider and it’s also good for sore and scratchy throats.

  7. There are a lot of recipes out there that use fire cider as an ingredient. Try a Google search! For an extra health boost, I like to use it as a vinegar replacement in salad dressings – it is great in any type of slaw and gives your meal a nice kick!

  8. Once drained, do you keep the solids in the fridge? How many rounds can you reuse the solids?

    1. Hi Sunny,

      Once I’ve used the solids. I cover them again with Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Juice and store again for a month. After that use, I then toss the solids and use fresh next time!

      Hope this helps!

    1. Exactly! I reuse them for another round of Rawkstar Tonic and start the process all over again.

    2. 5 stars
      I just took a class on making fire cider and the instructor ran the solids thru a small food processor for a minute or two added a little more honey and made a chutney. The chutney was great on crackers but would be even better with a nice goat cheese.

  9. This cracks me up! I can’t wait to try it, I would eat dirt if it kept me healthy. Without my health, I can really do nothing. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Same question as Ashley P. Also, can you give it to the littles with some adjustments?

    1. You could I guess, but I think the will think you’re torturing them if they take it. It’s THAT potent and nasty. So I haven’t done it with my kids since it’s so strong. When they are teenagers, I’ll def have them do it. Mine are 8 + 9 years old and would be traumatized from a shot of that. I got the recipe from a friend at church and her so is a teenager and takes it. He says that he can’t stand it but he knows it works so he does it.

    2. I give this to my kids with honey. They don’t love it, but they do tolerate it. They are 3, 6, and 8. Hope that helps!

  11. How long can this be kept in the fridge after the fermenting stage? Is there an expiration date?

    1. 5 stars
      You can keep it in the fridge for months. I’ve never had an issue with it going bad—I feel like the longer it sits the stronger it gets. 🙂