Spicy Fire Cider Recipe – Natural Cold Remedy

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Fire Cider natural remedy for colds, flu and sore throat
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » Spicy Fire Cider Recipe – Natural Cold Remedy

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

Fire 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:

Fire Cider natural remedy for colds, flu and sore throat

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.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 14 days 5 minutes
Author Katie Wells




  • Place onion, garlic, ginger, and echinacea root, organge, and jalapeño if using in a quart size mason jar. Make sure garlic is at the bottom and completely submerged.
  • Add enough apple cider vinegar to cover the ingredients. Use a fermentation weight to make sure all ingredients are below the liquid level.
  • 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 teaspoon an hour during illness until I felt better.


Nutrition Facts
Spicy Fire Cider Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 tsp)
Calories 0
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Shani Muhammad, MD, board certified in family medicine and has been practicing for over ten years. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or work with a doctor at SteadyMD.

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

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


134 responses to “Spicy Fire Cider Recipe – Natural Cold Remedy”

  1. Amanda Avatar

    I made this recipe then put it in a warm sunny spot in my house, but I underestimated how warm the spot was. When I checked it a couple hours later, it looked like it was boiling(it definitely had some bubble action going on). My question is: did it get too hot and kill some of the good stuff in it? I know that it most likely is still okay to consume, but is my batch no longer at premium potency? I made this once before and it doesn’t look quite the same after the two weeks as it did before. Has anyone else had this happen to theirs?

  2. Bethany Avatar

    5 stars
    Aah, I made this about 6 weeks ago and then forgot to strain it. Is it okay to strain now or should I start over??

  3. Mahkluk Avatar

    Lisa, reread the list of ingredients and Step 5. The recipe calls for 2 tsp of cayenne. It does NOT say to use an equal amount of cayenne as you have flavored vinegar.

    1. Mahkluk Avatar

      Sorry, Lisa, I think I misread your question. You didn’t ask about an equal amount of cayenne, you asked about an equal amount of honey. From what I read, you are correct – an equal amount of honey as you have liquid.

  4. Lucia Avatar

    Could you explain something about this recipe — do you really mean it should be 50% honey: 50% vinegar mixture? I’ve been using this recipe for a year and I was putting in 2 tsp of honey (matching the cayenne) and it’s been working great. I’m very sensitive to sugar so 50:50 would be too much for me. Could you explain why so much honey and if it is necessary? Thank you from a grateful fan! (P.S., I also subscribe to your recipes on RealPlans!).

  5. Lisa Avatar

    In step 5 you say to add equal parts of raw honey and add cayenne….. so does that mean to add as much honey as there is liquid leftover after straining?

  6. Colleen Avatar

    Hi can you please tell me the amount of ACV to use. I don’t see an amount listed in the recipe. Colleen

  7. Mike Avatar

    We accidentally added the honey in after the rest of the ingredients and before fermenting. Will that make the batch bad?

  8. N. Boyd Avatar
    N. Boyd

    I made a batch of this and let it infuse for over a month. But then it in the fridge before adding the honey. I took it out today and wanted to heat it up just a tiny bit so I could add honey, but I forgot about it on the stove. It didn’t boil, but the temperature got up to 160-165 f. Did I just completely ruin the benefits by killing off all the good enzymes? I added some raw honey and put it back in the fridge but I feel totally sick about it! Does it have any benefit now?

  9. Rebecca Avatar

    I have been making fire cider for a long time. I recently gave the recipe to my brother, but forgot to write add the honey or maple syrup once the cider was done fermenting and was strained. He added maple syrup in the beginning with everything else and it is fermenting now. Do you think this is ok to leave for 4-6 weeks, or is the batch ruined? Thanks in advance!

  10. Deb Avatar

    I made this a few months ago and forgot about draining it. It’s been in my pantry… Do you think it is safe to use or should I dump it? I need it now as my daughters sick with a fever and flu.

  11. Paige Avatar

    I’ve read that the inside of the lid should be metal as the fumes could react with it.
    I’ve also read of people straining the ‘mash’ and using in soups, stir fry’s, and slaws.

  12. Marci Avatar

    Just finishing making my first batch today. The onion and garlic turned fluorescent green over the last two and a half weeks, and the liquid smells horrible! Is all that normal? It smells and looks better now that I’ve added the honey and cayenne…
    Looking forward to trying this as illness seems to be making the rounds in our house…just dreading the taste! LOL

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Yes, the green is a reaction of the vinegar and the alliums and nothing to worry about. Unless it smells moldy or rotten it should be fine to use.

  13. Tommy Avatar

    Just a question about this in your recipe: “Cap tightly and leave in the jar for 2-3 weeks, preferably in a sunny or slightly warm place.”
    I’ve been researching various recipe’s for this and this is the first time I’ve seen this. Any other recipe’s I’ve read say a a few weeks in a “cool, dark” place. Any insight on this? Thank you.


  14. Steph Avatar

    Leave out the cayenne for the kids? That’s too bad! Maybe it’s the Texan in me, but by the time i was fourteen, I would eat whole jalapenos! (Though, I would scoop out the seeds in the middle, I was only so adventurous xD )

    Great recipe, can’t wait to make use of it and make my fiance have a bite! He’s a New Englander, he might have a bit more trouble than me, lol!

  15. Dennise Avatar

    I’d also like to know how long You can keep this. Mine is now 3 or 4 months old and I occassionally take it, but it seems like it Gets stronger (and a bit frizzy)?!

  16. Meagan Avatar

    What type of onion is best to use? How long is this good for in the refrigerator?

  17. Elana Avatar

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I Followed the directions exactly and put the jar by my window. Now after about two weeks the onions, ginger, garlic and vinegar have turned a greenish-blue color. Does that mean it went bad? Is it safe to eat?

    1. Lauren Avatar

      The concoction will turn greenish blue. That’s ok and expected. I thought mine had gone bad as well. Unfortunately I tossed mine out before anyone told me it was a normal reaction.

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