What Is Fire Cider And 10 Ways You Can Use It


What Is Fire Cider?

Fire cider is based on a recipe from the formidable Rosemary Gladstar (American Herbalist). Rosemary and her students founded this formula in the 1970s. They worked together to make an immune tonic that could be taken daily to help support immunity in the cooler months. They wanted to use easy to obtain ingredients and not use alcohol hence the use of apple cider vinegar. They named it ‘fire cider’ as that it was exactly - a fiery cider. 

Raw apple cider vinegar is the base of the cider, and the use of apple cider vinegar, or ACV, has a really long history for health supporting use - some say they can find traces of ACV use from ancient Babylonia. Apple cider vinegar has it’s own health promoting actions and acts as a preservative.  It has bacteria present in the ferment which can aid your digestion and also help with promoting a better microbiome. 

What makes a fire cider a fire cider? Traditionally the plants used within the fire cider were;
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne
  • Chilli
  • Ginger
  • Thyme
  • Horseradish
It is also sweetened with honey to help round out the formula and it also adds more health benefits as honey is well known for helping support immunity.

Wild Dispensary Fire Cider

Our very own Wild Dispensary Fire Cider is based on the amazing Rosemary Gladstar’s recipe - however we have given it an Aotearoa twist with the inclusion of our amazing native plants; horopito - the native spicy pepper tree and the versatile kawakawa.

It is jam packed with 20 powerful plants that give it a unique but delicious taste, from wild harvested Central Otago rosehips to the more traditional ingredients such as chillis and horseradish (because what is fire cider really without the kick!?).


10 Different Ways To Use Fire Cider

Now that we have answered the question ‘what is fire cider’, you might now be asking ‘well, how can I use it?” Fire cider is incredibly versatile, here are a few ways we like to use our Fire Cider.

1 You can take it neat - A shot of fire cider in the morning is a great way to wake up your gut and circulation. Or you could add it to your Anti-Flam Tonic as Ruth does to support her musculoskeletal system and help make moving around in winter a little bit more easier.

2 Bone broth - What is fire cider good for other than taking neat? The answers are endless, but one of our favourites, especially in the cooler months, is to add it to your bone broth. Winter means roasts, which also means that you have left over bones. You can add them to your slow cooker and make a bone broth. Or if you are making a bone broth from scratch add fire cider to the slow cooker with the bones and vegetables. Apple cider vinegar helps pull out the minerals from the bones into your bone broth. 

3 Dressings - Add fire cider to your olive oil dressing. This is a great way to fire up your winter salads. Add fire cider to your usual olive oil dressing for a punchy kick.  Whether it be your leafy greens or a seasonal roast vegetable salad, the combination of a good olive oil and the fire cider make a really quick and easy way to make a dressing worthy of any salad.


4 Flavour your water - We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, so what fire cider is good for is adding an incentive to drink more water. Add some fire cider to sparkling water with a sprig of thyme for a warming more savoury, healthy version of a soft drink.


Bloody Mary - This is one of our favourite examples of how versatile fire cider can be, and really, who doesn’t love a good cocktail? If you are a fan of Bloody Mary's - add a splash of fire cider in to take your drink to another level!


6 Cashew cheese
- What is fire cider good for other than drinks and dressings? The answer is cheese! This combination, while perhaps a little unusual, can elevate a homemade cheese spread into something uniquely delicious. The herbs and spices used in our fire cider are the perfect savoury addition.  If you are making your own cashew cheese or cream cheese a splash of fire cider can give it a lovely fiery kick that makes this spread so good on toasted sourdough.

Here is a basic recipe:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
1/2 teaspoon salt
2–4 tablespoons water
1–2 teaspoons Fire cider

  1. Soak Cashews in water. Drain the cashews saving the water.
  2. Place the cashews in a food processor with the salt and vinegar and pulse repeatedly. Scrape down the sides and continue blending, repeating if necessary.
  3. Add the cashew water, with the motor running, a tablespoon at a time to get the desired consistency - typically add 3-4 tablespoons. Then blend for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Taste and feel free to add any optional additions.
For a smoky flavor add 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika.

Fried rice Spice goes amazingly in fried rice. So add a tablespoon of fire cider to your usual fried rice recipe for a new way of spicing up your meals.

8 Drizzle - Winter means warm foods. Fire cider is a great thing to drizzle over steamed or fried vegetables. 

9 Marinade - If you are marinating tofu or protein consider adding fire cider to your marinade recipe. It helps with adding in the amazing warming flavours and also tenderising the protein. You could also add it to your chilli beans or nacho bean recipes. 

10 Soup - Add to winter vegetable soups. This is an easy quick way to add flavour and a kick to your favourite winter soup recipes.

Now you not only know what fire cider is, you also have a multitude of different ideas for how you can use it. Got some other ideas to add to the list? Let us know how you use your fire cider in the comments below!

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