Have you heard of Fire Cider? This popular herbal remedy, made from simple, raw ingredients that many of us use to cook with every day, is a combination of immune boosting herbs, roots, and peels steeped in vinegar. The good stuff to know – it’s reported to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, a decongestant, and circulation boosting. Iterations and ingredients will vary based on the producer or personal recipe, but generally include horseradish, hot peppers, turmeric, onions, garlic, ginger, and apple cider vinegar. Fire Cider supports your immune, respiratory and digestive systems, and has been reported to have coffee-like effects, meaning eye-opening stimulation. (That’s likely a reaction to the strong flavor, but we’ll get to tempering that shortly.)
Good to know – Fire Cider may sound like a spicy iteration of true apple cider or juice, but the apple cider vinegar is a key component to pay attention to. Apple cider is sweet juice made from pressed apples, while apple cider vinegar (often abbreviated to ACV) is the fermented form of apple cider, which creates an acidic liquid. To make traditional apple cider vinegar, water is added. To make Fire Cider – notably the one from Shire City Herbals that we’re carrying in the stores – things happen a smidge differently. Fire Cider isn’t simply cider vinegar. It’s a potent blend of vinegar, honey and a bunch of super-healthy vegetables, roots, and fruits.
The tasty combination of vinegar infused with herbs is an easy way to boost natural health processes, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days – good to keep in mind for the winter, tough to think about in hot and sticky July.
So with that in mind, we got to thinking about how to enjoy this beneficial “beverage” in these warmer temperatures.
Nothing Fancy – Just Take it as a Shot!
Sometimes there’s no need to mess with a good thing. Fire Cider is recommended to be taken straight up, about ½ to 1 tablespoon straight up every day to really reap the benefits. If you’ve got a shot glass kicking around, use the photo above to get an idea for scale.
Great Greens – Fire Cider Salad Dressing
Double your health wealth by adding your daily dose of Fire Cider into a funky fresh vinaigrette for greens. Fire Cider can work as the vinegar/acid component that you would add into any salad dressing. Try mixing olive oil, salt and pepper with a tablespoon of mustard, some minced shallot and 1/2 tablespoon of fire cider, remembering that you can always go back and add more based on flavor. If you want to lessen the punchiness even further, a squeeze of fresh orange or lemon juice could make for a great addition, or even a dollop of honey or maple syrup. Whisk everything up well to ensure an even consistency.
Greens-wise, we love this vinaigrette tossed with a tougher green, like arugula or even dinosaur kale. If you go the kale route, make sure that the vinaigrette is massaged into the tough leaves a few hours before eating, or even the day before. This is a great salad to make a few hours before dinner, and then save part to bring for lunch at work the next day. Kale is the rare green that gets better (so long as it is massaged) when it sits with a vinaigrette on it, so the leaves will really shine with more of the Fire Cider flavor, yet muted.
Top your dressed greens with a sliced firm fruit, such as apples or pears, some crunchy nuts and whatever else you like in a salad. We love the pop of pomegranate arils paired with a firm green and a spicy vinaigrette.
Cocktail Hour – A Cool, Crisp Summer Cocktail with Fire Cider
Simple summer cocktails call for little more than your booze of choice, a squeeze of lemon and your favorite fresh herb. We tried adding a dash of fire cider to the mix, along with an ounce of local gin and some spears of Rosemary. Presto, beverage!
A clear liquor makes the most sense to us, though if you’d like to lessen the botanical flavors, perhaps try vodka instead of gin. This simple setup would also work nicely with a splash of brown something, such as bourbon or whiskey. The versatility of herbs, acid and alcohol is endless…and the Fire Cider only makes it all the better.
Cocktail Eve – Fire Cider Hot Toddy
Save this one for the winter, or enjoy now if you’ve got central air. Your standard Hot Toddy (hot tea with whiskey and lemon) recipe can be punched up with a splash of Fire Cider. It’s good for the soul, good for the brain, good for all of the things. You’ll get health benefits from the tea and the Fire Cider, a hint of relaxation from your alcohol addition of choice, we can go on and on…
Fire Cider with Cheese…?
The topic that we should be exploring the most…is the most difficult. We do not recommend enjoying your shot of Fire Cider alongside a cheese. If you were to try and combine these excellent things together, we’d recommend enjoying the gin cocktail with a clean cheese – like an aged goat’s milk cheese, or perhaps even something cave-aged sans the rind – or maybe even simmer down a citrus fruit, like oranges or persimmon, with some fire cider to make a cheese plate jam.
Have you tried Fire Cider? What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy it that we may not have covered here?
How to Get Fire Cider
We don’t currently sell this online, but pop into any of our retail locations to pick up a bottle!