Gypsy Kitchen

Putting the Fire in the Cider

My passions is making medicine. Not medicine like one would think but herbal medicine, food medicine. For thousands of years our food has been our medicine and the time has come to move back to our roots and the way of our ancestors. What was lost through out the past decades of mass industry, commercial farming and processed food, is resurfacing, finding its way back into the hearts and kitchens of many.

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One of my favorite folk recipes is Fire Cider. It’s a long time favorite in the herbal community with hundreds of recipes floating around. It’s an old recipe and making a new come back. Fire Cider is a spicy deliciously sweet vinegar tonic that is traditionally taken in the winter as a cold and flu remedy. Fire Cider was first concocted in the kitchen at the California School of Herbal Studies in the early 1980’s by Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. Her intent was teaching her students how to make herbal preparations that were as much food as they were medicines.

This immune-boosting infused vinegar has made its way to the mainstream in a big way over the past years. As a large company decided to trademark the name “Fire Cider” and was forcing small businesses who have made and sold it for years, to change their product names. Please check out FreeFireCider.com and sign the petition and donate to stop the trademark of a traditional herbal remedy that have been shared freely for decades.

The Free Fire Cider blog is run by herbalists working together with herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, who coined the phrase “fire cider” and started sharing the recipe over 25 years ago, to protect the name Fire Cider from trademarks.

So for me continuing to share this knowledge is part of keeping the tradition alive and giving it back to the people who own it! It is after all a “folk” recipe.

There are so many yummy recipes out there now, even a book with 101 recipes, from all the people supporting the “FreeFireCider” campaign. It really is what you want it to be. You can be as basic or advance as you feel called. But it is fairly basic in its tradition. I added below Rosemary’s Traditional recipe. It is after all the foundation of most fire cider recipes.


Rosemary’s Traditional FireCider Recipe
Ingredients:

  • ½ cup grated fresh horseradish root
  • ½ cup or more fresh chopped onions
  • ¼ cup or more chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup or more grated ginger
  • Chopped fresh or dried cayenne pepper ‘to taste’. Can be whole or powdered. ‘ To Taste’ means should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it. Better to make it a little milder than to hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.
  • Optional ingredients; (this is were the fun is)Turmeric, Rosemary, cinnamon, etc.
  1. Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least three to four inches. Cover tightly with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Place jar in a warm place and let set for three to four weeks. Best to shake everyday to help in the maceration process.
  3. After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.
  4. Add honey ‘to taste’. Warm the honey first so it mixes in well. “To Taste’ means your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet. “A little bit of honey helps the medicine go down……”
  5. Rebottle and enjoy! Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry. But it’s better to store in the refrigerator if you’ve room.

A small shot glass daily serves as an excellent tonic Or take teaspoons if you feel a cold coming on.

Take it more frequently if necessary to help your immune system do battle.


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Everyones recipe has a little tweak of their own so don’t be shy to play. This is Food! This is medicine! This is your birth right! Enjoy!

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If you feel like this is to much for your busy schedule or you don’t feel confident in your ability to make it yourself, you can purchase GypsyMoon Herbal’s own fire cider “GypsyFire Elixir” in our Apothecary.

This is one of my favorites tho, it always comes out a little different every time. The process is at the core of my folk style medicine making. A little of this, a bunch of that. It’s really all to taste, preference and imagination. I’m looking forward to experimenting a bit more to see where it goes. My kitchen is small and I love to work by the light of the moon. So look out for some different flavors of your favorite Fire Cider.


Congratulations! To the Fire Cider 3 and all the people involved in fighting for and holding on to this beautiful tradition. On the weekend/full moon that I decanted and bottled up this fire cider, these beautiful women who fought for our traditions had received the verdict that they had won the case against the Shire City Trademark. So much love! I defiantly cried..

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