Master Tonic (Fire Cider)
Master Tonic (Fire Cider)
Fire cider is an infused vinegar made with warming herbs, roots and peppers. It has been used for generations as a folk remedy for everything from colds, flu, arthritis, circulation and digestion issues, to hangovers – and it packs quite a punch both in uses and flavor.
I was hooked from my first taste. WOW. It is warming, sharp, and …well, just try it!
People swear by fire cider, or ‘master tonic’, as a general immune boosting elixir and “cure” for colds and flu, and it has been used for generations. The recent resurgence of popularity in home remedies and other DIY ways has brought fire cider back into the forefront in home made wellness recipes.
It is packed with anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-all-kinds-of-things ingredients that should certainly boost the immune system and give your taste buds a real wake up call. It can be taken once daily as a general elixir or 3 times per day when under the weather to speed recovery time.
Fire cider takes 4 – 8 weeks to infuse completely and the flavors change and mellow over time, so get yours started now to be prepared for winter colds!
How To Make Fire Cider (Master Tonic)
1/2 cup grated ginger root
1/2 cup grated horseradish root
1 medium sized onion, chopped or grated
1 head of garlic (~10 cloves), crushed or minced
2 jalapeño peppers, minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon or other citrus fruit
2 tbsps. dried rosemary
1 tbsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. dried cayenne pepper
Apple Cider Vinegar
You may want to wear gloves while preparing roots and peppers! The title ‘fire’ is not for nothing, during preparation or tasting!
Horseradish is incredibly potent stuff and grating by hand is not fun. I put mine in the freezer for about 20 minutes before using a food processor to quickly mince it up. If you use a mandolin or grater, I advise you to open the window or even go outside.
The quickest way to go about this recipe is to scrub or peel, core, and remove stems from herbs, peppers, and roots and then throw it all in a food processor.
Place it all in a sterilized 1 quart jar and fill jar with 5% apple cider vinegar.
I used a bail top jar. It has a glass lid, rubber gasket and wire closure. You could also use a plastic lid, or if all you have are the metal lids, place cling wrap or parchment paper between the jar and lid to prevent corrosion from the vinegar.
Store in a dark, cool area for 4 – 8 weeks before use and shake the jar daily (if you miss a day or two occasionally it won’t ruin it, but aim for once/day).
After a few weeks, strain the liquid into a sterilized glass storage container. Add honey to taste (**Read notes below). Honey is not merely a sweetener, it contains anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties and is great for a sore throat. As with any ingredient (other than the vinegar of course!) it is optional.
Store in cool dark place and use within 18 months.
The strained pulp can be dehydrated and used as one heck of a spice mix, or used to make a second batch of fire cider. Just place the pulp back into the original jar and top with apple cider vinegar to restart the process.
How To Use Fire Cider (Master Tonic)
**In the final step honey can be added to the whole batch for those who find it hard to take otherwise. I prefer to sweeten as I go, leaving the infusion unsweetened for use in tea, orange juice, over salads, over meats, however you choose to use it, keeping in mind that it is an acid base (vinegar).
Because it is an infusion and not a ferment, heat and cold will not destroy all the benefits (excessive heat may deteriorate some of the enzymes and vitamins, just like cooking any vegetable or root).
It can be cooked into something or frozen. Which is great if a family member doesn’t care for the flavor (you will either love or hate it – there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground!).
For a daily immune booster, take 1/2 – 1 tbsp. per day. To fight colds and flu, take the same dose 3 times per day.
Common Fire Cider Q&A
Infuse and store fire cider in a cool dark place such as a cupboard. Fridge storage is not necessary, but won’t hurt it either, it’s up to you. It is basically an infused vinegar and can be stored as any other vinegar.
If you can’t find or are sensitive to an ingredient, leave it out. Your fire cider will still provide plenty of health benefits, even a daily dose of ONLY apple cider vinegar (ACV) will help boost immune system.
Dried ingredients can be used to replace anything you can’t find fresh and vice-versa. Adjust quantities to suit.
Organic is best, but use what you have available to you.
Want more or less peppers, ginger, or other ingredient? Go for it, and let the community know if you come up with something amazing:).
Use 5% ACV, not home made ACV (unless you know it is at least 5% acidity through testing). The acidity preserves your ingredients allowing for a lengthy infusion.
Fighting a cold, but you just made this yesterday? Go ahead and take some. The full benefits of the infusion aren’t ready yet, but you’ll still get some of it. Since it is a very young infusion, replace what you use by topping up the vinegar.
Hate the flavor? Hide it in a big glass of orange juice, kombucha, tea, a smoothie, a pot of soup, as a marinade, in salad dressing, use it in a mixed drink (fire cider moonshine will definitely perk up your senses!;)), or what have you.
Can I eat the pulp after straining? Yes! You can eat some straight if you are extra brave and it can be stored in enough ACV to cover it either in a cupboard or the fridge, use it to restart another batch of fire cider, or dehydrate it to use as a spice mix.
My garlic is blue, green, red or purple?!? Surprisingly – this is NOT an issue. This is a chemical reaction between the anthocyanins in the garlic and the acidity of the vinegar. Not to worry, eat your blue garlic.
I am not a medical professional and I make no claims as to the effectiveness of “fire cider” as a cure for anything. This recipe is provided for entertainment purposes only and is taken at your own risk. For medical advise, talk to a medical professional.
That being said – it’s infused vinegar, it’s yummy and full of healthy, immune boosting foods.
Can I buy some already made? Yes! You can find Fire Cider for sale here.
Have you tried fire cider? What adjustments would you make to this recipe? How do you use it?
posted by farmquilter on September 17, 2015
Never even heard of it, but I copied your recipe to my recipe file (and put it on FB and Pinterest) so I can make it for myself!! Thanks for sharing!!!
posted by YogurtHydro on September 17, 2015
Thanks so much for sharing farmquilter.:) Once you’ve tried it you’ll never forget – it has the most wonderful potent flavor. I hope you’ll remember to let me know what you think when you try it!
posted by Sue on March 17, 2016
I am on my 4th batch of this wonderful Fire Cider! After I have strained and canned the “cider” I dehydrate the veggies and then grind into powder form and use it for a master seasoning mix!! I LOVE this stuff!! Getting great reports from friends who use it for cold symptoms…it really does work!
posted by Rina I Thee Cook on September 20, 2015
I could totally use some of this right now! Thanks for joining in the fun for Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!
posted by YogurtHydro on September 23, 2015
Thanks for stopping by Rina.:)
posted by samantha on September 20, 2015
I’d have to get really brave to drink that for a cold since I’m not a big fan of horseradish. I’m sure it works though! Thank you for sharing, I’ll save the recipe in case I get stuck with a cold and get desperate. Moms don’t have time for colds ;)
posted by YogurtHydro on September 23, 2015
LOL. You can make this without the horseradish if you prefer.:)
posted by Jenn Peters on September 28, 2015
Thanks for joining the Sunday Blog Hop. I haven’t tried any vinegar drinks (yet) but I’ve been hearing lots about them lately. They are definitely gaining popularity!
posted by YogurtHydro on September 28, 2015
Thanks for hosting Jenn.:) You should try this one – the flavor is like nothing else lol!!
posted by Heather on October 21, 2015
Just made a batch of this today! Thank you for the recipe!
posted by YogurtHydro on October 21, 2015
That’s awesome Heather.:) Now for the hard part – waiting to try it lol!
posted by Chris Stigall on October 26, 2015
Just made a double batch last night. About 20 minutes after putting it up, I had to get it back out because I wanted to try it. Even at that point it was amazing! Didn’t have any garlic, but will be adding it after a trip to the grocery store this week. Looking forward to trying this in a bloody Mary!
posted by YogurtHydro on October 26, 2015
Congrats on waiting a whole 20 minutes! hehehe. I did the same thing.;) It’s really an unforgettable flavor once it’s all infused, you’ll love it:)
posted by alicia0795 on November 17, 2015
i have never heard of this before!! very interesting drink!
posted by YogurtHydro on November 17, 2015
It is more of a folk remedy than a drink, but many people add it to drinks.;)
posted by Mai Tran on November 23, 2015
Could this be my holiday drink this year? Must try since it looks delicious!
posted by Judy Thomas on December 8, 2015
I am going to make this! Thank you for the recipe!
posted by krysprincess on February 23, 2016
i am going to try this recipe
posted by Judy Thomas on February 23, 2016
Thanks for the recipe! I am going to try it.
posted by Ttrockwood on March 2, 2016
I can’t wait to try making my own with your recipe!
posted by clojo9372 on March 4, 2016
i have never heard of fire cider before. i am prone to getting colds constantly so if this can boost my immune system i’d be more than happy to try it! :)
posted by krysprincess on March 6, 2016
fire cider sounds interesting but sounds good
posted by Jesse Wade on November 30, 2016
I make a jar of this every year, in fact I have a jar in the pantry now that has been infusing for almost 4 weeks. It keeps me well, and flu free. My recipe is similar to this one. I use fresh roots rather than powdered, and I generally add lemon and fresh herbs if I have them.
posted by YogurtHydro on January 5, 2017
I make it every year as well! After infusing and straining the original mixture, I make a second jar using the strained pulp from the first jar.
I absolutely prefer to use all fresh ingredients as well! Some of them can be really tough to find depending where you are on the planet though which is why I include information on using dried ingredients because I want everyone reading to know that you definitely make fire cider using dried ingredients, or leaving a couple out entirely if that is what is available to use.
Many people fret over not having very particular things and would skip making it entirely due to a lack of say – raw horseradish – in their country, and although it’s a nice addition, it isn’t essential and will still include many health benefits without it.:)
I’ve been taking 1-2 tbsps of fire cider daily for so long that I really miss that unique sharp flavor when I’m out of town or something!
I dehydrate the pulp after to use as a spice mix. Do you reuse yours as well?