Hibiscus Pomegranate Fire Cider Recipe

Hibiscus Pomegranate “Cheater” Fire Cider Recipe

This is my household’s go-to fire cider recipe. Milder and sweeter than other fire cider recipes, hibiscus pomegranate fire cider makes a great gift for the herbally uninitiated. I promise, I won’t tell if your fire cider finds its way into the loving embrace of bubbles and gin. However, I most certainly wouldn’t condone, under any circumstances, the mixing of fire cider with tequila and pomegranate juice, served in a martini glass with a salted rim.

Why is it “cheater” fire cider?

Typically, fire cider is made by placing the ingredients in a glass jar and letting them sit for a moon’s passing or for six weeks. This recipe, on the other hand, is a one-day affair.

If you happen to have more time, and want to maximize your ingredients and make a stronger cider, you can complete Step 1, adding the hibiscus, and let the slurry sit for a month. The juicy pomegranate-orange mixture can be added right before straining; after a month, you can finish the recipe below, skipping the heating part.

This recipe makes eight to nine bottles (8 ounces) and should be refrigerated for longer-term storage. If you are making the recipe just for yourself, I recommend making a fourth of all the ingredients (yielding about 16 ounces of fire cider, or a pint). It may keep unrefrigerated for a short period, but the extra liquid from the pomegranate and oranges may dilute the vinegar enough to allow microbial growth.

hibiscus fire cider ingredients


  • 64 ounces (1.89 liters) of apple cider vinegar
  • 10 ounces (300 ml) honey (use less for a more savory vinegar)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 large garlic bulbs
  • 4 ounces, or 113 g, by weight, fresh ginger root (1 cup coarsely chopped 1-inch {2.5 cm} pieces)
  • 2 ounces, or 56 g, by weight, fresh turmeric root (½  cup coarsely chopped 1-inch {2.5 cm} pieces)
  • 5 ounces, or 142 g, by weight, horseradish root (1 ½ cups coarsely chopped 1-inch {2.5 cm} pieces)
  • 2 large pomegranates (plump, succulent, and garnet in color) or 8 ounces (240 ml) pomegranate juice
  • 2 oranges
  • ½ ounce, or 14 g, by weight, dried whole cayenne peppers (about ¾ cup) or 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) dried cayenne powder
  • 1.25 ounce, or 35 g, by weight, dried hibiscus flowers (cut and sifted), approximately ¾ cup

Yield: 70 Ounces (2 liters)

  1. Peel the garlic, and coarsely chop the onions, ginger, horseradish, and turmeric. Place them in a food processor or blender, along with the cayenne peppers. Add enough apple cider vinegar to cover. I prefer a glass blender if it is available. Work in two batches. Blend carefully with the lid on and take care not to let fumes or slurry get in your eyes.

  2. Place the slurried spiciness from both batches into a double boiler. Don’t have one? Nest a smaller pot inside a bigger pot or saucepan and use a couple of upside-down mason jar rings to keep the inside pot off the bottom of the outer one. Add a little water to the outside pot and voilà—double boiler! Add the rest of the apple cider vinegar to the slurry and keep the heat on low, with the lid on! Let the mixture heat on low; don’t let it get above 120°F (49°C) for three hours, stirring occasionally. Again, be careful with the fumes!!!!

  3. Meanwhile, back at the bat cave, peel your oranges and deseed the pomegranates, sneaking off a nibble or two. Put on an old apron and mash the pomegranates and oranges with a potato masher in the sink.

  4. After a couple of hours, taste the slurry. If it’s too mild for your fire cider pleasure, this is your chance to add more of the spicy herbs and cook for one more hour. After three hours of total cooking time, turn off the heat, and add the hibiscus and the juicy pomegranate/orange mixture. Let sit for one hour and check the color—if it’s too light, add more hibiscus. When the cider is a beautiful red hue, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or potato ricer. You’ll need to squeeze out or press the slurry, or you will lose a great deal of the medicine. (Don’t use your bare hands to squeeze out the cider or you’ll burn/irritate your skin.) Add the honey and mix well, making sure all the honey is dissolved.

  5. Place in sterilized, clear-glass jars, label, and refrigerate. Dosage is 1 teaspoon (5 ml) as needed.

Left: Blending the cider ingredients; Right: Large homemade double boiler

Left: Blending the cider ingredients; Right: Large homemade double boiler

Straining the hibiscus fire cider

Straining the hibiscus fire cider

Left: Straining with a ceramic coffee strainer and straining cloth; Right: Adding the honey to the strained cider

Left: Straining with a ceramic coffee strainer and straining cloth; Right: Adding the honey to the strained cider


Fire Cider Recipe Extravaganza

A few decades ago, beloved American herbalist Rosemary Gladstar came up with the name fire cider and subsequently shared her recipe with students over the years, many of whom developed and sold their own version. Recently, the term fire cider became the subject of a contentious debate, as one herbal company (without regard to Rosemary Gladstar’s wishes) was able to obtain a trademark for the name fire cider. Thankfully the trademark has been revoked, and we can all legally use this classic herbal term once more!

Want Rosemary’s favorite fire cider recipes? She’s just published Fire Cider!, a book of 101 zesty recipes from her own kitchen and beyond. A number of culinary herbal virtuosos are featured in the book, including your truly. For your own copy, we recommend buying directly from Rosemary herself. You can do so here.

More excited about recipes you can click on right now? Here are some of our spiciest picks:



  1. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, 2nd ed. (CRC Press; 2013).
  2. Mahmoud, B. M., Ali, H. M., Homeida, M. M., and Bennett, J. L. “Significant Reduction in Chloroquine Bioavailability following Coadministration with the Sudanese Beverages Aradaib, Karkadi and Lemon.” Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 33, no. 5 (1994): 1005–1009

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