Features and Occasionals


By Alice Toler

Several months ago a recipe for an intriguing-sounding elixir began to circulate around Facebook and Pinterest: “Fire Cider” was purported to heal all ills, put hair on your chest, align the planets and bring balance to The Force. Naturally intrigued, I printed the recipe out and put it aside, and then forgot about it for several weeks.

In the meantime, we received a visit from my mother-in-law, Lillian. Lil is a go-getter of a woman and a complete inspiration to me, and she is also the purveyor of something known to her and her fellow Wyo­mingites as Chokecherry Bounce. This imperial purple infusion is made from wildcrafted Wyoming chokecherries, goes down smooth (with maybe just a hint of Robitus­sin), and is a favorite holiday tipple amongst those in the know. When she went home, she left us about a quart of Bounce and a five gallon ziplock freezer bag full of choke­cherries, which I immediately began “bouncing” on my own.

At this point it occurred to me to combine the alcoholic zing of the Bounce with the medicinal superpowers of the Cider. After a couple of weeks’ experimentation, I ended up with a bright yellow liquid which will clear your sinuses in half a minute, and which also tastes fairly good as a Bloody Mary additive. Herewith, the recipe:

Alice’s Firebounce Cider

1 daikon radish, grated
1/2 bulb of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 Tbs. dried flaked hot red pepper
1 orange, sliced as thin as you can
1 lemon, sliced as thin as you can
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbs. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbs. black peppercorns
2 tsp. dried turmeric
1/4 cup raw honey
Organic unpasteurized apple cider
Half-decent vodka

1. Combine all vegetable ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix them thoroughly. If you use your hands, be sure to wear a pair of disposable gloves so the pepper doesn’t get you!

2. Pack mixed veggies into two quart mason jars. Add half the honey to each jar.

3. Fill each jar about 1/3 full of apple cider vinegar, and fill the remaining 2/3 of the jar with vodka.

4. Seal jars and shake well. Shake the jars every day or so. Wait two weeks, strain the liquid into a decorative bottle, and compost the vegetables. Voila!


Bonus recipe: Wyoming Chokecherry Bounce


1. Fill a quart mason jar with cleaned chokecherries. Add about a third of a cup of sugar. Fill the jar to the brim with vodka.
2. Every day for a month, turn the jar upside down to “bounce” the chokecherries. The vodka will slowly turn a very dark purple.
3. At the end of the month, strain the “bounced” vodka off and put it in a decorative bottle. Toss the chokecherries outside to provide holiday inebriation for the birds.

This article was originally published on December 30, 2014.