A fun variation on the more traditional folk recipe, this hibiscus and pomegranate fire cider is a powerful herbal remedy great for healing colds! Learn how to make your own batch today!
I’ve written about Fire Cider before, sharing my “traditional” recipe for this cold and flu folk remedy. It’s the first thing I reach for when I start to feel sick.
My husband gets ill much more frequently than I (probably due to the stress of work and his long, ridiculous hours), but I normally can stave away from catches what he has by preventative care. Like shots of fire cider or regular doses of elderberry syrup or immunity tea. But this year, the cold season seemed to hit my family earlier than normal. Last month, he brought home a nasty bug, and he quickly polished off the remaining fire cider that I had in the fridge.
I didn’t have enough of my herbal potions ready and I still had my current fire cider batch brewing, and I caught whatever he had. And even weeks later, I’m still suffering from a hacking cough.
So this batch of brew wasn’t able to help me out with the first cold of the season. But, it’s now bottled up and I’m ready for the next round.
If you’re new to the idea of fire cider, here’s a quick recap:
What is Fire Cider
Fire Cider is a medicinal vinegar. It’s made by steeping potent, pungent and aromatic herbs like onions, garlic, ginger and horseradish in raw apple cider vinegar for a moon cycle (or, 4-6 weeks, if you’re not a witch following lunar time). Then, it’s strained and honey is added. Throughout the late fall and winter, take shots daily as a preventative tonic, or, more regularly when you start to feel a cold come on.
This year, I thought I’d experiment a bit and change my recipe up, and make a batch of Hibiscus Pomegranate Fire Cider, modified from the recipe shared in my Medicine Making Class from Chestnut Herbs.
I was particularly intrigued by this version because I had several jars of pomegranate juice tucked away in the freezer from a few years ago. While I have my own tree, it’s still young and I’ve so far only harvested one fruit off it. But my desire for pomegranates has always been one of those things that I put out into the world, and amazingly, each year I’ve been blessed by an abundance.
My luck or magic, I have always been offered up trees to harvest from- the owners too busy or uninterested in dealing with them. And while the seeds are tasty treats, I don’t think they are super useful. So, I would spend hours deseeding (and don’t believe all the fancy tricks- they don’t work. I’ve tried them all. It just takes time and patience and clothes that can be stained). I rounded up this photo of a pomegranate deseeding marathon, circa 2012.
Then, I’d run the seeds through my vintage Acme juicer. Some of the juice gets reduced to pomegranate molasses, some used in cocktails, but most of it (like almost everything I have extra of) goes into the freezer for “future creative use”.
Which is why I STILL have pomegranate juice frozen from as far back as 2014.
I know, right?!. That shit needs to be used!!!
Hence fire cider with pomegrante added.
How to Make Hibiscus Pomegranate Fire Cider
I started with my basic fire cider recipe but left out the citrus, and added hibiscus for the time of steeping.
You are likely familiar with hibiscus from tea- it’s a popular flavor in iced drinks. It’s not the showy tropical flower you might be thinking of, but a specific species: Hibiscus sabdariffa, sometimes also called roselle. Medicinally, hibiscus is seen as high in antioxidants, has antimicrobial properties, and used as a general tonic herb, particularly for liver and kidney support.
Pomegranate juice is said to be full of antioxidants, antiviral, reduces inflammation -particuarlly in the gut and improves digestion, and is super high in vitamin C. Plus, it’s in season during the ideal time to brew up fire cider!
I let the vinegar and herbs brew for a full moon cycle (so 4 weeks) tucked away in a dark cupboard. Then, I strained through a fine-mesh sieve and added pomegranate juice, orange juice, and honey to finish up the making of my hibiscus and pomegranate fire cider.
- 1 large head garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 2-3 whole dried cayenne chiles (about .25 oz by weight)
- about 1/4 cup fresh chopped ginger (about 2 oz weight)
- about 1/3 cup fresh grated horseradish (about 2.5 oz weight)
- about 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped turmeric (about 1 oz weight)
- about 1/4 cup loose dried hibiscus (about .75 oz weight)
- 16 ounces raw apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1 orange
- 2 ounces pomegranate juice
- about 4 ounces honey
- Place all prepared ingredients for initial brew in a large glass jar. Cover with the apple cider vinegar.
- Close the jar. If using a metal lid, put a piece of parchment between the glass and the lid, to keep the vinegar from touching the metal.
- Set aside in a dark spot, shaking daily (or as remembered).
- Let steep for 4 weeks, then use cheesecloth or a fine sieve to strain.
- Add honey, orange juice, and pomegranate juice to vinegar and stir until incorporated. Taste and add more honey if needed.
I store my fire cider in the original vinegar jar, but because of added juice, you'll have a bit extra. Store this in an extra jar or give away to a friend!
This will keep for at least a year in the fridge. Take a shot daily during cold and flu season as a preventative, or 1-2 tablespoons (or 1 shot glass) at the first sign of a cold, 3 times a day until symptoms subside.
Adapted from Chestnut Herbs.
All information presented on this website and affiliated with Melissa Keyser is for ideas and education only. The information I provide is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Read my full disclosure here.