So a few months ago – or maybe even a year – there was some kind of scuffle going around the interwebz about this Fire Cider business. My favorite local herbalist was in a twist over some company trying to copyright the name “Fire Cider,” which is an herbal remedy spanning way before copyrights ever did. I trust her, and generally distrust corporations, so my interest was piqued.
I had almost completely forgotten about the scuffle until I started brewing ginger ale and joined an online group dedicated to fermenting. I saw a few people experimenting with different ingredient bases and thought, “hey, I’m pretty sure I have most of that on hand.” The only things I needed were fresh turmeric (found at Whole Foods) and fresh horseradish (found at East Side Market).
At first, I thought this was a ferment, but it is not. There are plenty of instructional pages & videos dedicated to the manufacture of this infusion, but I especially liked this video:
My go-to flu-season tonic usually consists of lemons, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom and honey. We call it “Vundertonik,” and it has always done me well. I’ve also taken to just a head of chopped garlic boiled in water with some salt and topped with fresh scallions. This Fire Cider business seems like it may be a halfway house between Vundertonik and Garlic Broth.
So for my infusion, I grated the horseradish, turmeric (my hands look like an Oompa Loompa, but hey.. it’s the deep of flu season), onions, lemons, garlic and the last of the fresh jalapenos from my overwintering plants. What’s that? Why, yes it is mid-January and I do live in New England. I poured Apple Cider Vinegar to cover all the vegetables and added a pinch of ground cayenne pepper. I prefer a bit more heat than most, and by the time it’s ready, I’m sure I’ll be glad I added it.
The infusion is said to take 4-6 weeks. We’ll be out of the worst of flu season by then, so next year I will start this in around Thanksgiving, so it (and I) could be ready by the largest fluid-exchange season of the year. Also, go wash your hands, you dirty beast.
I may take a bit a little early just to ward off strangers and friends alike. As soon as I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.