Community Recipes | Hot Spiced Apple Cider Vinegar

Hot Spiced Apple Cider Vinegar

Staying healthy during the change of seasons

By Ellen Evert Hopman

As winter transitions into spring, we are more likely to get colds. This may be because the occasional warm day prompts us to remove our coats too soon. During changes of season, we need to be more mindful than ever to keep our lungs warm.

This is a recipe that warms the whole body. “Cold people”, those who habitually feel chilly, might enjoy taking a spoonful daily. In my case, being a somewhat “hot” person, I like to use it in my salad dressings because the oil cools it somewhat.

Everyone can take it at the first sign of illness; a friend passed this recipe along to me and he swears he hasn’t had a cold in four years.

(For best effect and taste, use the finest, most organic ingredients you can find)


  • Organic apple cider vinegar, enough to cover all the below ingredients combined (use of a full 16 oz. bottle of apple cider vinegar should be enough)
  • ½ cup grated ginger root (Zingiber officinale)
  • ½ cup grated horse radish root (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia)
  • 1 medium onion (Allium cepa) chopped
  • 12 cloves chopped garlic (Allium sativum, A. canadense)
  • 2 hot peppers (also called chili peppers), chopped
  • Zest and juice from 1 medium lemon (Citrus limon),
  • Zest from 1 small Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • 1 tbsp. Turmeric powder (Curcuma longa)
  • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annuum)
  • ½ tsp. whole Black Peppercorns (Piper nigrum)
Other herbs to consider using, based on your preferred tastes:
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris),
  • Rose Hips (Rosa spp.),
  • Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius),
  • Grapefruit zest (Citrus paradisi)
  • Astragalus (Astragalus membranicus),
  • Schisandra berries (Schisandra chinensis),
  • Parsley (Carum petroselinum),
  • Burdock root (Arctium lappa),
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare),
  • Basil (Ocymum Basilium),
  • Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)


  1. Put everything into a glass jar and barely cover with organic apple cider vinegar.
  2. Cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place.
    • Make sure the jar has a plastic lid or else put a layer of plastic wrap on top of the jar then screw on the top, as vinegar corrodes metal.
  3. Shake the jar regularly- at least a few times a week.
  4. After about a month, strain out the vinegar and reserve it in another very clean glass jar.
  5. Add ¼ cup of raw organic honey to the new vinegar and stir until well blended. Keep in the refrigerator for 6-8 months.

Other Notes

Spiciness rating: Depends on how hot the chilies are that you use. I’d give it ?️?️?️?️?️ out of five peppers.

You can use the strained-out vegetables and spices in a stir fry with cabbage and carrots when everything is finished.

This recipe is from my book “Secret Medicines from Your Garden”, Healing Arts Press, Vermont, 2016

Content submitted by Common Share Food Co-op Member-Owner, Ellen Evert Hopman

Ellen Evert Hopman is a local Herbalist and author. She is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild and teaches an annual, six-month Herbal intensive, October to April, in the Amherst area. Find her books, classes, and blog at

Recipe Stats

  • Time until ready: about a month
  • Spiciness: 5/5 (however, this is dependent on how hot the peppers you use are)
  • Keeps for: 6-8 months, refrigerated
  • Source: Ellen Evert Hopman’s book, “Secret Medicines from Your Garden”, Healing Arts Press, Vermont, 2016