Drinks + Smoothies/ Raw Dishes/ Uncategorized/ Vegan


DIY COLD FIGHTER - FIRE CIDER Today is my birthday. I am 31 years old. For such a long stretch of my adolescence, birthdays were something I dreaded. I would always allow myself to get over excited about the day, build up an unrealistic idea of what wonderful, magical, things would happen

(insert fantasy of flying unicorns here. No not Pegasus, because in my mind they had horns and wings – very different) all to feel let down when it was over. Classic Charlie Brown syndrome.

I distinctly recall my seventh birthday, when I must have invited the entire class to my party. My sweet, patient father had hand cut 25+ wooden birdhouse for everyone to build (knowing my parents, they  were probably for some native + endangered species of bird too). Yet all I remember from that day is not the fun, or sweet acts of my family + friends, but myself crying alone in the goat barn singing  It’s my Party and I’ll Cry if I want to. Talk about drama queen!

As the years progressed, birthdays got better and better. I remember the first birthday I loved just like it was yesterday. It was my 18th birthday. My dad and I had traveled to Japan for the first time to see my brother. We spent the entire day in the shrine town of Nikko, just the two of us. Everything was so overwhelming for a girl who hadn’t strayed very far from home. The scale of the temples was like nothing I had ever seen before and I was bowled over by the sheer beauty and magnitude of it all.

After a long day of hiking and eating sweet potato ice cream we spotted a snow monkey in the wild, a very exciting sight for a teenage girl (or sensible human) to say the least. On the way back to the train, exhausted and spent, my father proceeded to find me a little ceramic monkey to commemorate the day. My own special birthday monkey which still sits on my shelf today.

DIY COLD FIGHTER - FIRE CIDER Long story short, I have grown over the years to come to love my birthday. The less I seem to do the more and more the day means to me. I had originally planned this post to be all about a killer exciting cake I was going to make myself – I even bought a special cake pan, adorable cake stand, and all natural bees waxed candles to go with the bunting I was going to make. But the world had other ideas for me. Ideas such as getting a migraine the day before my birthday…..this is classic Sophie behaviour here.

So after spending the last two days in bed (and watching nearly all of season one of Gilmore Girls), no cake was made, no party was had,  but I had a beautiful day re-coopering, re-living the ’00, and breaking my two day long (not by choice) fast with my favourite vegan pizza. It was pretty good all in all.

In place of cake this week, I am instead sharing a very exciting recipe for a herbal medicine that we could all use this time of year – Fire Cider!

DIY COLD FIGHTER - FIRE CIDER DIY COLD FIGHTER - FIRE CIDER Fire cider is an infused apple cider vinegar drink that was first made in the 80’s at the California School of Herbal Studies, by the schools creator Rosemary Gladstar*. Based on traditional home remedies, it uses the power of apple cider vinegar (which I believe will cure nearly everything) and potent medicinal herbs to create a tonic that’s spicy, pungent, and sweet. Historically tonics like this have been used to ward off colds + flus, help solve sinus issues, aid in digestion, and help increase circulation.

Made out of a combination or ginger, horseradish, garlic, and turmeric, this concoction is anti-viral, immune-strengthening, and a decongestant. The ingredients can vary depending on what you have on hand, but I like to stick fairly close to the original by adding onion, garlic, horseradish, ginger, + cayenne (or pepper) along with a few other additions for fun. Stay healthy, friends, and good luck warding off those nasty colds this season!

* Fire cider has since been trademarked by a company who now owns and sells the product (and sues others who use the name), which is a gross exercise in the commodification of traditional knowledge. More can be found out about keeping fire cider free here.  

How to use Fire Cider

Fire cider can be taken a couple of different ways, but my favourite would be in the form of those cute little health shoots you get from fancy juice stores – just down a shot all in one. But if that doesn’t strike your fancy, here are some other ideas:

  • Drink a couple of Tablespoons on first sight of a cold or flu.
  • Mix with warm water and drink in the morning as you would lemon juice
  • Add to salad dressings and Buddha bowl sauces as you would lemon juice
  • Sprinkle over steamed veggies
  • Add to spicy cocktails like Bloody Mary’s
  • Make a hot toddy with hot water, fire cider, and rum or whisky.


Fire Cider

Print Recipe Here 

In addition to the ingredients I have listed below, I’ve also seen orange, parsley, thyme, + habanero added to the mix.

1/2 Cup Peeled and Diced Horseradish
1/2 Cup Peeled and Diced White Onion
1/2 Cup Peeled and Diced Garlic
1/4 Cup Peeled and Diced Turmeric
1/4 Cup Peeled and Diced Ginger
1 Jalapeno, Chopped
Peel and Juice of one Lemon, Pith removed
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 Sprigs Rosemary
2-3 Cups Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
Honey / Maple Syrup as needed

  1. Place all the vegetables, herbs, and spices, in a clean 1 Lt mason jar. Top with the apple cider vinegar, and using a clean knife, make sure there are no air pockets where bacteria can grow. Apply a layer of waxed paper or parchment to the top of the jar before placing the lid onto it to prevent any corrosion. Store your jar in an area you’ll visit daily (I keep ours by the tea and coffee) and shake once daily or as often as you can remember. After anywhere from 3-6 weeks the vinegar will be ready. Simply strain out all the vegetables (compost them) until you are left with just the infused vinegar. At this step you can either sweeten the vinegar with honey or maple syrup, or if you prefer just leave it as is and sweeten it as needed. Store in the refrigerator for up to a year.

*****As a disclaimer, I should probably say I am not a doctor and if you’re really ill please go see a medical professional and get the medicine you need. *****



  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    October 20, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Happy birthday, sweetheart!!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      oh thank you so much, Rebecca!!!<3

  • Reply
    October 20, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I can really relate to this. Its a birthday thing. And what better way to recuperate than watching GG. We’re half way through season two (for about the tenth time) – 5 to go! Happy birthday!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2016 at 3:51 am

      Nice one, Amanda! For whatever reason, I am loving the show now more than I think I did as a teenybopper – go figure. I definitely have some catching up to do. I wonder if I can make it to the end before the new episode…. 😉

      • Reply
        Amber | Loves Food, Loves to Eat
        October 21, 2016 at 9:11 pm

        I’m also loving it so much more now that I’m older… I think when it was on we were Rory age (I’m also 31), and now that we’re Lorelai age, it’s a totally different show. Also…happy happy birthday!

        • Reply
          October 22, 2016 at 7:18 pm

          So true, perspective changes everything. Lol, one of my first thoughts too when watching it was that Dean wasn’t as awful as I remember him being, and he’s cuter too. Ha, I’m such a perve 🙂 Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, Amber xox

  • Reply
    Gina Capitoni
    October 21, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Yay for your birthday! Yay for fire cider ( which is on my yo do list for ages and now you have unconsciously reminded that it’s time haha) &a Yay for GG!
    Happy belated birthday my dear!
    It looks cozy over there through your beautiful pictures!
    Have a lovely weekend & fun in Stars Hollow! 😉

    • Reply
      October 22, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Thank you so much, Gina!!! I highly recommend the Fire Cider, but I must admit, it was on my to-do list for years too. Now that I’ve made it, I see how it’s so darn easy! I totally plan on sipping some tea and curling up for my daily Stars Hollow visit soon <3 xox

  • Reply
    October 21, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Happy birthday Sophie!! I know I’m a very quiet reader of your blog (however, I do admire the aesthetics of every single post of yours), but yeah, since it’s your “special day”, I thought I’d say hi and wish you a laid-back, stress-free, migraine-free day today. Regardless of the date. Also: I LOVED Gilmore Girls when I was younger! Reminded me so much of me and my Mum (weird). Not sure how I feel about the reboot though…

    Anyway – happy birthday 🙂


    • Reply
      October 22, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Oh, this post makes me so happy to read, Maisy! Thank you so much for visiting, you’re a real sweet heart. I adore your site, by the way! Your zucchini brownies are on my must make list. I know what you mean about the re-boot. I’m so scared they’ll ruin it some how. Finger crossed. P.S. You and your mum must have an awesome relationship! <3

      • Reply
        November 18, 2016 at 11:21 am

        Hi Sophie! I just went back to this post to see if you answered by any chance – and you did!! Haha I’m actually so excited about it 😀 I had no idea that you checked out my blog, that’s so sweet! I definitely have a long way to go to improve my food photography (a LONG way), and you are definitely a HUGE inspiration to me in that regard. Can’t wait to have my own (bright?!) house one day with loads of windows and sheer curtains for taking pictures, lol!
        I hope you’re having a great week!


  • Reply
    Michelle @ The Last Food Blog
    October 21, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Belated happy birthday Sophie x I always feel that life happens when we make plans, or at least that’s how it feels. My grandmother used to give me a similar drink when I was a kid, as well as a seaweed jelly both to cure coughs and colds. It’s hugely disappointing to hear that a company has been able to trademark a traditional recipe like this.

    • Reply
      October 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you so much, Michelle! Ha ha, I agree with you. Somethings I think its just better to live in the moment and go without plans than allow disappointment to happen. I’m so intrigued by this seaweed jelly you speak of!! It sounds like a wonderful old word home remedy. I must google this! Trademarking traditional knowledge is just criminal. It truly boils my blood too.
      All the best,
      Sophie xox

  • Reply
    October 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe! Will have to try it 😀

    • Reply
      October 22, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      You’re welcome, Louisa! I hope you enjoy <3

  • Reply
    Maya | Spice + Sprout
    October 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Happy Birthdayyyyy! I loved reading this post (YAY for Gilmore Girls!). This fire cider is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I kept meaning to look up recipes for it and always forgot. Now I have no more excuses, definitely making this before the colder weather sets in 🙂

    • Reply
      October 22, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks Maya!!! I’m so pleased you enjoyed this post, and GG!!! <3 I hope you try the cider! I'd love to know your thoughts on it 🙂

  • Reply
    October 23, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Happy birthday! I love your story about your 18th birthday in Japan – it sounds pretty magical. However, I totally get what you’re saying when it comes to not making a lot of plans on your birthday. I tend to do the same and never regret it.
    Hope you had a great day yesterday and a lovely Sunday 🙂

    • Reply
      October 24, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Thank you so much, Emma!!! Here’s to low key birthdays and taking it as it comes! <3 xox

  • Reply
    Rony Jahid
    October 23, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Its really helpful for illness. Much appreciated for your recipe because there are so much healthy ingredient for fighting with illness. So I want to try it certainly.

    • Reply
      October 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you, Rony! You’re right, this elixir is totally jammed packed with medicinal wonders. I hope you enjoy it <3

      • Reply
        Rony Jahid
        October 25, 2016 at 5:35 am

        Yes… Thank you for spend time to response.. Have a good day

  • Reply
    Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    October 25, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Happy birthday!!! Cider is perfect to celebrate it with 😀

  • Reply
    Elenore Bendel Zahn
    November 1, 2016 at 8:39 am

    You. Are. Pure. Love!

    I hope you feel so much better and that you’ve had some cake as well. Thank you for the beautiful story. Ah my heart. Family, little tokens, special memories. It’s all such powerful parts of our lives and when it comes down to it (just like you said) if we have that & don’t run around with all the “do’s” life sure is at it’s best.

    I’ve never made fire cider but often boost my Golden Detox Drink w apple cider vinegar, garlic and coconut oil at the onset of a cold. It always does the trick *knock on wood*

    Such a huge hug to you and happy belated birthday.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2016 at 5:18 am

    A week late but here i am hoping your first week as a 31 year old has been just as good as the day itself. A slow, quiet birthday sounds just about right to me. My best birthday memories are always special moments spend with the people I love. But never have I ever seen a snow monkey and THAT would make my day (life) for sure! Love this cozy little drink and wishing you well, old friend 😉 xx

  • Reply
    November 6, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Hi Sophie! Happy Birthday!! I just bumped to your website and absolutely loved it! Hope you feel better.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Sophie! I need that mug! Where did you get it?

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