Cold and flu season is in full force these days and we're all looking for ways to get healthy and stay healthy. Of course there are the usual natural remedies, vitamins and supplements we use to bolster ourselves against the winter nasties but it's always nice to get your immune boosters in through your diet – even better if it's from easy to find items from the grocery store or your Fresh City bag. A home remedy that has risen in popularity this year is a concoction called Fire Cider. This is an apple cider vinegar based tonic infused with ingredients like onion, garlic, horseradish, ginger and chilies and sweetened with a bit of honey. 

This combination of ingredients provide natural anti-microbial and immune boosting properties as well as being warming for the circulatory system and aiding in digestion. All good things for the body during these frosty and vulnerable winter months. 

In addition to the core ingredients listed above you can play around with other spices, herbs or produce items that will add additional health and flavour benefits to your Fire Cider. This is a recipe intended to get personal and creative with so you can play around based on your tastes and what fresh, local ingredients are available to you or already sitting in your fridge and pantry.  In our recipe we've added citrus elements and additional herbs and spices and we've listed more add-in ideas below with the recipe.

While it's good to take a few tablespoons daily at the onset of a cold, it's also great to take as a daily preventative, health promoting measure, just reduce the amount you take to about 1 tablespoon.  If you're a brave soul you can throw back a shot of it straight up, or for a more gentle approach dilute it in a glass of water or a mug of hot water for a warming, tangy tea-like drink.  It's also a great addition to soup stocks or salad dressings. 

So get experimenting and here's to a bright and healthy 2015!

Recipe by: Sammi Smith
Serves: about 2L
Prep Time: Quick & Easy


1/2 cup, peeled & grated or chopped ginger

1/2 cup, peeled & grated or chopped horseradish

1 peeled & chopped yellow onions

10 cloves, peeled & chopped or crushed garlic

1, quartered & thinly sliced navel oranges

1/2, quartered & thinly sliced lemons

1 jalapeno pepper, seasonal hot variety of the week

2 tbsp, leaves removed from stem & chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2-3 cups apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup or more raw honey

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1. Mix your herbs, roots and fruit together in a large mason jar (about 2L size).

2. Pour in the apple cider vinegar so that all ingredients are fully submerged and there are no air bubbles.  If your jar has a metal lid place a piece of parchment paper or cheese cloth between the jar and the lid to avoid issues with rusting. Screw the lid on tight and give the jar a good shake then set it down in a dark, cool spot to infuse.

3. Let the mixture sit for 4-6 weeks, and try to shake daily. Check if the mixture is infused to your liking around the 4 week mark.

4. Once you are happy with the flavour, prepare a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and strain the vinegar mixture over a large bowl. Let the mixture sit and drain for about 20 minutes and give an extra squeeze to the ingredients to help get out all of the liquid. Add honey to the mixture, tasting as you add to get to your desired level of sweetness.

5. Lastly, pour the Fire Cider into a clean, sterilized jar or bottle and keep in the fridge for up to one year.