Traditional Fire Cider
Traditional Fire Ciders are a specific type of oxymel, an ancient medicine that combines herbs with the soothing combination of vinegar and honey. It is believed this spiced-up version first was named Fire Cider by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, who adds garlic, onion, horseradish, turmeric and pepper to the blend to kick-start immunity. From there, recipes for Traditional Fire Ciders are often adapted regionally depending on local herbs, culture or family tradition. The below recipe is adapted by Crystal Hamby, a faculty member in the Department of Botanical Medicine, to include culinary herbs for their antimicrobial properties as well as for their flavor. This recipe fills a pint-size glass jar, but she encourages you to experiment with other sizes as well as different herbs. Read more about the benefits of Traditional Fire Ciders.
Place onion, garlic, ginger, horseradish, spices and herbs in the bottom of the jar. Add in vinegar and honey in equal amounts to fill the jar, probably 1 scant cup of each. If you’re sealing the jar with a metal lid, place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between the glass jar and the lid to keep the vinegar from corroding the metal.
Shake well, store in a cool dark place for about a month, and shake the jar daily. After about a month, strain the liquid, squeezing the solids with a cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer.
Your Traditional Fire Cider does not need to be refrigerated. Store in a cool dark place for as long as a year. Take 1 tablespoon a couple of times a day to maintain health.
You can simply take your Fire Cider straight or in a drink with some bubbly water. Or try using it to cook with. Hamby suggests using it straight as a salad dressing or mixing it with olive oil and mustard to make a vinaigrette, or using it as a marinade for fish, tofu and meats.