How to Make Elderberry Fire Cider

I’m a big believer in boosting our immunity naturally.

Natural ingredients like organic ginger, garlic and elderberry all are known to have tremendous health benefits, and we use them religiously. Especially as the weather starts to change, kids go back to school and the cold and flu season kicks off.

We forage for elderberry midsummer and freeze whatever we don’t use right away. Elderberry is high in antioxidants and vitamins and is delicious as a syrup, in mead or turned into jam. But we’ve never thought about using it in fire cider until recently.

The well known Fire Cider recipe has been around since at least the early seventies, but it was likely based on traditional uses of apple cider vinegar passed down by generations before. It’s basically herbs mixed with honey and apple cider vinegar to create a healthy tonic that is great for the gut as well as the immune system.

Adding elderberry just makes sense.

Here’s how you put it all together.

Gather these:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen elderberries
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 4 habanero peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 garlic bulbs, grated
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup grated horseradish
  • 2 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs cayenne pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Organic apple cider vinegar
  • Honey
  • 1 half gallon jar
  • Fermenting weight

Grate your horseradish, ginger and garlic. Slice peppers and lemon in half. Cut onions in small chunks. Then combine all ingredients in your clean half gallon jar.

Pour your apple cider vinegar over the ingredients until they are completely submerged. Allow a couple inches space at the top of the jar for your glass weight. Give the jar a good shake to mix everything up, then add your glass weight. You can either use a plastic lid or a canning ring with a strip of wax paper underneath it. But don’t use a metal lid or else it will corrode.

Place your fire cider in a dark cabinet for 8 weeks. Then strain the liquid into a clean jar. Add honey to sweeten the fire cider to taste. You can store your fire cider in the fridge for up to 6 months.

How to Use

One “shot” of fire cider is usually enough, but sometimes I’ll take two.

Use it when you feel like you have a cold coming on or when you have a sore throat. Or take daily as a supplement like we do through the winter months.

Here’s to good health. Bottoms up!

  1. Hello. I used your recipe and it’s been fermenting almost 2 months! I’m very excited to try. However I put dried elderberries in my batch and later read that you should only eat them if they are cooked. Did you cook yours? Did I waste my efforts ?

    1. No worries! We don’t cook ours when fermenting. You’ll drain the liquid from the contents, so you won’t be consuming the berries.

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