Master Tonic aka Fire Cider

Fire cider is a powerful tonic used to ward off illness. It’s made from plants containing many natural antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial compounds. Combined and steeped in vinegar for a month or so, the resulting liquid becomes infused with these powerful flavors and compounds.

Take a shot at the onset of symptoms of getting sick, and you either won’t get sick at all, or you’ll breeze through and recover more quickly. (These are my own personal experiences and should not be construed as medical advice!)

Generally speaking, fire cider is not pleasant tasting. However, you can embellish it or mask the strong flavors by mixing with honey. Personally I just take a shot, let it burn while it goes down. I chase it with some cool water if it’s too much to bear.

Strictly speaking, this is generally not a true ferment, or at least that’s not the goal. There may be some bubbling, indicating activity by the ever-present live microbes, but that would be incidental. The purpose here is to create an infusion.

Master Tonic aka Fire Cider

Prep Time 30 minutes
Fermentation Time 30 days
Makes 450 ml (2 cups)


  • 450 ml 16 fl. oz. apple cider or other raw vinegar or plain kombucha
  • 85 grams 3/4 cup fresh ginger root
  • 100 grams white onion about 1/2 a medium sized onion
  • 100 grams fresh garlic about 20 cloves
  • 90 grams fresh jalapeños or other hot chile peppers about 5 small peppers
  • 90 grams 3/4 cup fresh horseradish root


  • Rinse, peel (if not organic) and roughly chop horseradish and ginger root (into about ¼ inch/½ cm pieces).
  • Peel and roughly chop garlic cloves.
  • Remove tops, membranes and seeds from chile peppers (or leave the seeds and membranes in a few of them for extra heat).
  • Slice onion into rough pieces.
  • Optionally, pulse all ingredients in a food processor a few times.
  • Add ingredients to a quart/liter sized mason jar.
  • Top with vinegar or ripe kombucha. Fill all the way to the top. Secure lid tightly.
  • Shake jar vigorously every day or so.
  • After 30 days, strain out the liquid into a bottle. You now have fire cider! Store in a cool, dry place (refrigeration is optional).
  • You can use the leftover solids to flavor other dishes, or to add to the compost.
Keyword medicinal


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