Spicy Fire Cider Recipe for Cold and Flu

I first discovered a recipe for “fire cider™” years ago. It didn’t sound like something I wanted to try immediately, but when I read about the immune-boosting benefits I decided to be brave and give it a try. Years later, it’s a staple at our house around cold and flu time.

Fire cider is a traditional recipe that contains garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne, vinegar, and raw honey. The original recipe calls for horseradish, but for the sake of the kids I typically substitute echinacea root.

Fire Cider™?

I recently found out that a small company has trademarked the term “fire cider”™ and manufactures and sells it. This has a lot of small herbal remedies sites up in arms as this is a very old recipe that has been used for decades. From my understanding, this means that I could not sell this product pre-made, but it does not limit the ability to make it at home.

For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just call this recipe “Spicy Cider”!

Spicy cider harnesses the beneficial properties of onion, garlic, ginger, and herbs, plus vinegar and raw honey for a nourishing drink with a little kick.

How Does Fire Cider Taste?

Judging by the ingredients in the recipe, you might not expect it to taste very good. I didn’t either and I was quite pleasantly surprised by the taste. I’ve even tried it on salads as a dressing and it has a mild peppery and sweet vinaigrette flavor.

In the winter months, I sometimes take a teaspoon or so of this a day or use it on salads. If illness hits, I’ll take that dose every few hours or add a tablespoon to hot water or herbal tea a few times a day until I feel better.

For the kids, I reduce the cayenne or leave it out and they don’t mind the taste too much since the honey helps balance out the vinegar taste.

If you try fire cider and like it, I highly recommend Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs book as the reason I first discovered this remedy (and may I suggest my Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox book for many more natural remedy and beauty recipes as well!).

On to the recipe:

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Spicy Fire Cider Recipe

An old herbal remedy that uses the germ-fighting properties of onion, garlic, ginger, and herbs. plus vinegar and raw honey for an immune boosting and nourishing drink with a little kick.

Total Time 14 days 5 minutes


  • Place onion, garlic, ginger, and echinacea root in a quart size mason jar.

  • Add enough apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs.

  • Cap tightly and leave in the jar for 2-3 weeks, preferably in a sunny or slightly warm place.

  • After 2-3 weeks, strain and discard the herbs.

  • After straining, measure the apple cider vinegar left and mix it with an equal amount of raw honey and add the cayenne pepper.
  • Store in the refrigerator and take 1 teaspoon as needed daily or when illness strikes. I’ve taken as much as 1 tsp an hour during illness until I felt better.


Don’t worry about the garlic turning green — it’s a normal reaction for garlic immersed in an acid. 

Ever made a spicy cider like this? What is your favorite natural remedy for cold and flu?