I love winter.
Okay, well I love parts of it. I love the snow (which we don't get in Austin and I miss it!) and I love the silence of ice storms and the crunch of cold leaves. I love pink noses and warm drinks.
But my body doesn't love winter.
Each year, since 2013 I have gotten a flu or cold or bronchitis. It's really becoming quite annoying. It typically happens either when fall comes or when winter hits head on. If you know anything about me though, you know that I have a thing against taking traditional medicine. I haven't been to a physician in 3 years and the only medicine I've taken since then is the occasional ibuprofen.
I also love to make my own herbal teas, tinctures, and tonics. So when I discovered Fire Cider a couple of years ago- I knew I wanted to make my own!
Fire Cider is basically your grandmothers KA-POW, knock down the cold, immune booster. It's a tonic made from basic kitchen staples; garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, peppers, and the mother..... apple cider vinegar.
It boosts your immune system and gives viruses a kick in the butt.
Now that I've made several batches over the years, I wanted to share with you what works for me! I will say though that not pictured** are chili pequins; these tiny spicy buggers are native to Austin and my sister, Marlena, first introduced them to me when she started adding them to her fire cider. You always want a spicy element in your cider and I love using as many local foods as possible! We pick ours straight off of the land that she lives on.
Another note** don't let the word "cider" confuse you. This shit is spicy and not sweet at all and tastes like a really strong spoonful of soup.
Okay, on the to process....
I start with the freshest and most organic/ local ingredients as possible. The more of these you can get from your farmer's market- the better!
chili peppers, jalapeño, or chili pequins!
turmeric root (this is my own secret ingredient!)
apple cider vinegar
raw honey (for later)
fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano
How to make it
I typically make one batch per season, enough that can fit into a pint-sized wide-mouthed Mason jar.
1. To start, I peel the garlic, onion, turmeric horseradish and ginger. I use 1 whole head of garlic (that's anywhere from 10-15 cloves) and a fistful of ginger (makes 1/2 cup grated) and the same amount of horseradish root. For the turmeric, I usually just do a piece about the size of my thumb.
2. I throw all of that in the jar along with the peppers that I chose. Then, add enough vinegar to cover that and almost reach the top.
3. Before you screw the lid on, put a piece of parchment or wax paper underneath; otherwise the vinegar will corrode the lid!
4. Screw that baby tight and let it sit in a cool dark place for a month! Shake it up at least every day!
5. When it's ready, strain out the liquid and mix with at least 1/4 cup of raw honey or more if you need it so it goes down smoothly. Write the date on the top, put it in the fridge, and treat yourself to a spoonful every day on an empty stomach.
Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!
Here's my latest batch... ready to strain...
Have you ever tried Fire Cider? Comment below!