Fiery Cider

We are so excited to offer a brand new seasonal item: Our handcrafted Fiery Cider!

Our recipe is based upon a traditional folk medicine remedy, that has been used for centuries as an autumn tonic. It’s made with pungent and spicy herbs and ingredients that are at their peak in the fall, and steeped in raw apple cider vinegar for several weeks. The herbs are then pressed out, and a touch of raw honey is added.

There are all kinds of different recipes and formulations for this spicy apple cider vinegar tonic, each delicious and unique in its own way. My recipe is based on a formula passed down by one of my herbal teachers, Cascade Anderson Gellar – who credits her herbal friends Rosemary Gladstar, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, and Jane Bothwell for helping develop the recipe. I made my first batch in class with Cascade a few years ago, and the little bottle I brought home was one of my most prized possessions in the kitchen. I made several more batches the following spring with my herb group, and we tried a variety of different ingredients with more of a focus on spring greens.

Some of the herbal vinegar varieties made in my herb group, the Cascade Herb Society

Some of the fire cider experiments made in my herb group, the Cascade Herb Society, at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine

This fall, I decided to experiment with my own formulation.

The first step was to source the highest quality, freshest ingredients I could find at the Farmers Market. Lucky for me, we have a booth at one of the best markets in town every Saturday – the PSU Portland Farmers Market. I also have developed relationships with several different farms at the market, so was able to trade honey and honey tonics for Fiery Cider ingredients!

Some of the gorgeous, inspiring fresh ingredients at the PSU Farmers Market

Some of the gorgeous, inspiring fresh ingredients at the PSU Farmers Market

Gorgeous local Ginger from our friends at Groundworks Organics!

Gorgeous local Ginger from our friends at Groundworks Organics!

I wanted to purchase my ingredients at the market because often they were harvested that very morning, or the evening before. This means that they are at their absolute peak freshness, and I know they haven’t been sitting on the shelf for several days or even weeks. Also, it’s nice to buy things directly from small producers, which keeps my dollars circulating as locally as possible. I purchased our ingredients from the following local producers:

Gathering Together Farm

Groundworks Organics

Westwind Gardens

Fiddlehead Farm

Blessed By Grace Urban Farm

The next step was to thoroughly wash all of the produce in our certified kitchen, with lots of clean water. I also used a solution of white vinegar and lemon juice to kill any bacteria that might be lurking, along with a vegetable brush.

IMG_1519IMG_4536 (2)After all of our produce was squeaky clean, the fun part begins – lots of peeling, chopping, grating, and garbling. All of the onions and peppers make it a very spicy and pungent experience!

Chopping this many peppers requires protection!

Chopping this many peppers requires protection!

After all the ingredients are chopped and assembled, raw apple cider vinegar is poured over them. They steep for a period of several weeks, and then we use our tincture press to press out the spicy vinegar, and discard the produce. We add a touch of our raw Pacific Northwest wildflower honey and bottle it up. It is so delicious!

Mickelberry Gardens Fiery Cider is currently available at Alberta Cooperative Grocery in Portland, Gresham Community Acupuncture, from our booth at the PSU Farmers Market, and from our online store. Get some while it lasts, or else you’ll have to wait until next fall!

I like to take shots of fiery cider to keep myself healthy as the season turns, along with a spoonful of Elderberry Honey Tonic. I also love to cook with it – I’ll make a big pot of cooked greens with nothing but a little drizzle of Fiery Cider, and they are really fantastic. Any time I’m sauteeing vegetables or cooking beans, I add a generous splash. You’ll be amazed at how fast a bottle disappears!!


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2 Responses to Fiery Cider

  1. Jeannie Dunn says:

    Hello, Love what you are doing and I love that you are getting from your local farms for your Fire Cider recipe. We shall have one soon here in NC with local ingredients! Plant and wild food love, Jeannie

  2. erin vaughn says:

    I am absolutely hooked on your Fiery Cider. I truly treasure each shot/taste of it! I’m looking forward to making my 3rd purchase in a few minutes, so that I can enjoy the rest of my current bottle without worrying about running out. Keep up the great work and best wishes!

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