Cocktails/ Cookbooks/ Recipe/ Reviews/ Winter

Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Fire Cider Hot Toddy

You know that friend who goes to a bar and orders hot water and lemon on a Friday night? No? Me either. Obvi.

Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Fire Cider Hot Toddy Recipe - She EatsBut I’m sure someone must. I’m here today to tell you that shit just got less lame my friends. That friend can still have her hot water and lemon, but with a shot of fire cider and a dash (or 3) of tequila, poor-man’s tea suddenly becomes hot damn ahhhh-mazing. And totally nourishing.

My friends, I’d like to introduce you to Los Angeles-based forager, wildcrafter, drink maker, history lover, herbalist, educator and general badass, Emily Han.

Emily Han, Author of Wild Drinks and Cocktails | She Eats

Photo Credit | Oriana Koren

You know you’ve found a kindred spirit when the first words out of someone’s mouth are “when I pour myself a glass of elderflower cordial… ”

Be still my beating heart. Thump thump. Thump thump. Thump thump.

Now I know you dig this kind of thing too. And you know I not only write about fresh, locally seasonal dishes and drinks here but I also have a cocktail column with Edible Vancouver that focuses on farm fresh ingredients and coming next fall, my own cookbook focused entirely on seasonal, boozy cooking. So you can imagine my utter elation (and the drool-fest that ensued) when Emily shared her new book with me, titled Wild Drinks and Cocktails.

Wild Drinks and Cocktails - She Eats

Photo Credit | Emily Han and Gregory Han, courtesy of Fair Winds Press

She’s channeled the inspiration she finds from seasonal ingredients – and bottles and jars – into drinks. In book form. Now that’s something we can get down with, amiright?

Thus Emily harvested Wild Drinks and Cocktails, 100 Handcrafted Squashes, Shrubs, Switchels, Tonics and Infusions To Mix At Home.

Pink Peppercorns for Hot Toddy - She EatsWild Drinks and Cocktails is, in a word: Stimulating. From the tantalizing recipes, to the simple yet beautiful photography, to the mindful guidance on wildcrafting, you will be left completely and utterly titillated. Inspired. And thirsty.

Emily describes Wildcrafting as “the practice of gathering medicine or food from wild plants and it encompasses not just the act of harvesting, but ethical considerations so you’re caring for the plant and its ecosystem.”

And isn’t that the very way we should be eating and drinking?

Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Fire Cider Hot Toddy Recipe - She EatsOf course, not everyone feels comfortable rummaging through back alleys and along public sidewalks for their next drink so Han encourages us to look to our local farmers markets, CSAs and own gardens for ingredients.

Like medicinal remedies, her drinks are nuanced. Personal. Complex. And unique. She asks us to experiment, taste, experience and explore the recipes in the book, gently coaxing us to find something we love and make it our own.

Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Fire Cider Hot Toddy Recipe - She EatsI won’t lie, usually I prefer a firmer hand when being told what to do (ow ow!), but in the case of Wild Drinks & Cocktails, gentle will do just fine. The book is approachable, lush and most importantly, usable. I have multiple recipes dogeared (yes, I dog ear my books – what of it?) and I full intend on making them all.

Fresh Food Styling - She EatsMany of the tonics in her book have their “roots” (I told you she’s clever!) in the communal, medicinal history of wildcrafting which is why I’m so thrilled to share her Fire Cider Hot Toddy recipe with you. It truly encompass this history and at the same time, marries it with booze.

Um, hells yeah.

So next time that friend orders hot water and lemon at happy hour you can just pull your mason jar of fire cider out of your bag, order her a shot (or 3) of tequila and make one of these bad boys. She’ll thank you. I know I would.

That’s why we’re buddies.

Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Fire Cider Hot Toddy Recipe - She EatsAbout the Fire Cider

(excerpt from Wild Drinks and Cocktails)

Horseradish, garlic, ginger, onions and chile peppers form the basis of this vinegar tonic, and I admit it: the combination sounds pretty frightening! In fact, it took me years to work up the courage to try it—but now, a shot of Fire Cider is one of the first things I reach for to ward off a cold or flu, relieve sinus congestion, and warm up on a cold day. Hot, pungent, sour, and sweet, Fire Cider was formulated by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar as a robust immune enhancer that anyone can make in his or her own kitchen. Gladstar has encouraged people to adapt Fire Cider to their own tastes, and by sharing this recipe, I hope you will do the same. I usually add turmeric and citrus to Gladstar’s core recipe, plus wild chiles pequíns that my mother forages in her Texas backyard. Depending on my mood and on what’s in season, I sometimes throw in a chopped beet, a handful of parsley, or some rose hips.

Fire Cider Recipe for Hot Toddy - She Eats

Photo credit | Emily Han and Gregory Han, courtesy of Fair Winds Press

About the Hot Toddy

(excerpt from Wild Drinks and Cocktails)

Although it’s primarily a health tonic, fire cider can add plenty of kick to your cocktails, too. The savory, vinegar-based concoction is a natural addition to a Bloody Mary and pairs well with the spice in a rye whiskey, or the smokiness in mezcal or tequila reposado. You can use Fire Cider by the dash, like bitters, or, for serious spice lovers, by the shot. When you’re making this Fire Cider Hot Toddy, you may want to play around with the proportions a bit, depending upon how sweet your Fire Cider is. One thing’s for sure, though: it’s as good as an extra blanket on a cold night!

Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Fire Cider Hot Toddy Recipe - She Eats

Fire Cider Hot Toddy


For the Hot Toddy:

  • 1/4 ounce (7 g) honey (or more, to taste)
  • 3/4 ounce (23 ml) Fire Cider
  • 1 1/2 ounces (45 ml) rye whiskey, mezcal, or tequila reposado
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water
  • Lemon slice

For the Fire Cider:

  • 1/2 cup (75 g) peeled, finely chopped garlic (about 10 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces, or 112 g) peeled, finely chopped horseradish
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) peeled, finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1/4 cup (about 2 ounces, or 56 g) peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup (about 2 ounces, or 56 g) peeled, finely chopped fresh turmeric or 1 heaping tablespoon (7 g) ground turmeric
  • 1 small orange (preferably a blood orange), quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 habanero chile, or 2 chiles pequíns, or 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 to 3 cups (470 to 705 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup (40 to 170 g) honey, to taste


For the Hot Toddy:

  1. Combine the honey, Fire Cider, and liquor in a mug. Top with hot water and stir. Garnish with a lemon slice.

For the Fire Cider:

  1. Combine the garlic, horseradish, onion, ginger, turmeric, orange, lemon, chile, and peppercorns in a sterilized quart (1 L) jar. Pour the vinegar into the jar, stirring with a chopstick to release air bubbles. Leave 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) of headspace and make sure the ingredients are submerged.
  2. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth. Cover the jar with a nonreactive lid.
  3. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 1 month, shaking it daily and ensuring that the ingredients stay submerged.
  4. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  5. Whisk in the honey to taste; I usually like about 2 tablespoons (40 g), but some folks like as much as 1/2 cup (170 g). Transfer to a sterilized bottle with a nonreactive lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.


Taking heed Emily's suggestion to make her recipes our own, I added a cinnamon stick, a couple pink peppercorns and a sprig of rosemary to serve my version.

Check out the other Wild Drinks & Cocktails Blog Tour Hosts here.

Find Emily Han: EmilyHan.comFacebook | Instagram | Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: Quarto Group Inc. DID provide me a review copy at no cost. Regardless, I only recommend, giveaway or share products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions, words and information here are entirely accurate and a reflection of my true experience and were not influenced, in any way, by the above mentioned products or companies. Opinions and views are my own. Because that’s how I roll, yo. I’ve never been one to shut my mouth – I’m not going to start now.

  • Emily
    November 19, 2015 at 8:50 AM

    Oh my goodness, Kristy! Your photos are so stunning, and I thank you for this lovely review. xx
    Emily recently published…Wild Drinks & Cocktails Blog TourMy Profile

  • Sofia | From the Land we Live on
    November 19, 2015 at 11:48 AM

    I’m so frightened yet intrigued by fire cider…so far the fear has been winning. I’ve seen in made on a few occasions but have yet to muster up to courage 🙂 Your pictures are gorgeous and together with that cocktail…it almost looks delicious. I think this might actually be the year of fire cider for me. Thanks, Kristy! So excited to grab a copy of that book and really looking forward to yours 🙂
    Sofia | From the Land we Live on recently published…A Wine Tour + French Onion and Bean SoupMy Profile

  • Samantha
    November 20, 2015 at 4:40 PM

    Kristy! This looks pretty tasty. And since I have a cold that won’t go away (regardless of my bourbon in take) I’ll have to give this cider a try. Great photos!

  • Teresa
    November 20, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    This sounds so good and though I would never order hot water at a bar, if I couldn’t drink my water hot at home, I’d be dehydrated all winter long. Teresas cannot live by tea (or cocktails) alone.
    Teresa recently published…Holiday Book Reviews – Pierogi LoveMy Profile

  • Wild Drinks & Cocktails Blog Tour | Emily Han
    November 21, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    […] Blog Tour: “Wild Drinks and Cocktails is, in a word: Stimulating. From the tantalizing recipes, to the simple yet beautiful photography, to the mindful guidance on wildcrafting, you will be left completely and utterly titillated. Inspired. And thirsty.” – read the full post + recipe for Fire Cider Hot Toddy […]

  • Jacqueline Gum
    November 21, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    Man oh pants on fire…this one is a keeper and just in time for winter and cold season…ugh. Though it seems prophylactic, if you ask me. Hmmmm…maybe one a day keeps the flu away:) That’s what’s I’m going with……..
    Jacqueline Gum recently published…A Break For Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

  • Nicoletta @ sugarlovespices
    November 21, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    Wow…I don’t know anything about making cocktails. I really need to do something about that. Your photos are so beautiful and the description so intriguing that I feel like wanting to have a fire cider right now.
    Nicoletta @ sugarlovespices recently published…Polenta with Raclette and Mixed MushroomsMy Profile

  • Isabelle @ Crumb
    November 22, 2015 at 8:48 PM

    Wow… that fire cider sounds like it would pack quite the wallop, both literally and medicinally! I’m all about the turmeric right now, but somehow it never crossed my mind to put some in a cocktail. Clearly, you (and Emily) are geniuses. 🙂
    Isabelle @ Crumb recently published…Spiced Pear Aebelskivers (Danish Pancakes)My Profile

  • Barely Vegan
    November 23, 2015 at 5:48 PM

    This book sounds amazing! The Fire Cider is very similar to something I make for myself to combat sickness. I blend raw organic apple cider vinegar with ginger, garlic, onions, spicy peppers, and turmeric. I drink a tablespoon and it feels like I just drank acid!! I’m NOT joking. But it is soooooo good for me, so I try to drink a shot every now and then. I’m definitely going to try her Fire Cider recipe. I think it will be easier for me to drink with the orange and honey in it.
    Barely Vegan recently published…Kale Banana Orange Smoothie, Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with Hummus, Chicken & Veggie TacosMy Profile

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    November 25, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Yeah, I could totally get down with this cocktail. This book sounds beautiful!
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe recently published…Butter Celebrates! Banana Pecan Caramel Cake and a Giveaway!My Profile

  • April J Harris
    December 1, 2015 at 11:17 PM

    I know I’m going to love Emily’s book! It looks gorgeous. Fire Cider definitely sounds like it would chase away any bugs that is for sure!
    April J Harris recently published…Orange Gingerbread Crinkle CookiesMy Profile

  • Cocktail Ideas for Your Holiday Party
    December 3, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    […] 6. Fire Cider Hot Toddy//She Eats: Fire cider adds a major kick to everyone’s favorite cold weather cocktail — the Hot Toddy. While you can buy the infused raw cider vinegar here, Kristy shows you step-by-step how to make it at home. (Photo via She Eats) […]

  • holli
    December 11, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    How can I make this in under 1 month??? I want to drink it now :I

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    December 15, 2015 at 5:48 PM

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  • Sean
    February 26, 2016 at 9:15 PM

    I have a very, very happy horseradish plant in my garden. The guy who sold it to me said “You like horseradish, right? Because if you don’t harvest it, it’ll take over your garden.” The first little leafy tendrils are poking up from the soil right now, and I was just thinking about what to do with all the horseradish I’m going to have. I never would have thought of Fire Cider! It looks incredible, and it’s so different! Seriously, I can’t wait to try it. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful book.

  • Sarah | (Cooking for) Kiwi and Bean
    February 28, 2016 at 5:18 PM

    Wow, wow, wow. This looks exceptional in every single way. And a little bit intimidating, if I’m being honest :-). But worth it I’m sure :-).

    And hey I had no idea you were writing a COOKBOOK!!! That’s amazing! Can’t wait to see it!

  • 35 Hot Drink Recipes To Keep Your Warm | Food Bloggers of Canada
    November 21, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    […] some kick to your hot toddy with this Fire Cider Hot Toddy recipe.  From She […]

  • Melissa Keyser
    December 4, 2016 at 4:39 PM

    Oh shit, why did I never think of adding my fire cider to a cocktail! I’ll be giving this a try for sure. It’s already so intense to take a shot of, may as well add alcohol!