Master Tonic Revisited – Preserving Fresh Turmeric and Ginger

I’m almost out of Master Tonic, but I have to say, sometimes I am sick of the flavor.  In  my previous post on making  Master Tonic  there are links as to where I first found out about it and how many others make it. You will find on the internet that many chop up all the ingredients by hand, very chunky, and let them steep in Apple Cider Vinegar for a few weeks, then strain and dump out the solids. What a nightmare, as you would need a gas mask and hazmat gloves, and what a waste!

I don’t like nightmares nor waste.  I do make my Master Tonic in a food processor but now I make it a bit differently, separately, because I like different flavors for different dishes.  Most people don’t even cook with it anyway but wait to use it when their husband is sick, make him hold his nose while force feeding him spoonfuls, watch fire come out his nose and ears, and then snicker behind his back.  If you put it in soup, bone broth, deviled eggs, salad dressing… he will not think you are trying to kill him, and that you are a fabulous cook, and he won’t get sick or not as often.  Make him take it straight anyway, whenever you want to get even.

The basic ingredients for Master Tonic are equal parts (give or take) of the hottest peppers, the hottest white onions, garlic, fresh horseradish, and fresh ginger, all processed fine in a food processor and then put in glass mason jars, filled up with Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar.  It keeps forever, but I do keep mine in the refrigerator.

Now I don’t make a huge batch all at once, because the ingredients are not always readily available to me.  I make what I can, when I can. This summer, during hot pepper season, my favorite farmer, Thistle Whistle,  had a huge variety of hot peppers at a great price at our farmers market and I stocked up.  Hot peppers won’t keep for long, so I made Liquid Fire out of them.  I use it often, for added heat.  When organic garlic is available very fresh and at a good price, I stock up on it and process it and add Apple Cider Vinegar.  Same with hot white onions.   The only ingredient I have not been able to get yet this year is fresh horseradish and I forgot to dig mine out of the garden before the ground froze.

This time I will add fresh turmeric because it is such an amazing medicinal.  I had never seen fresh turmeric before and had always wanted some.  I found some at a health food store in Montrose the other day and was so excited.


For those who live in a booming metropolis, don’t laugh.  I’m sure at your fancy pantsy Whole Foods, the choices are staggering: chocolate covered turmeric, turmeric sprinkles, turmeric crusted smoked Soho salmon, turmeric and cucumber smoothie… :) anyway, I’ve never seen fresh turmeric and I wanted to preserve it for my next batch of Master Tonic and to have on hand for other dishes. I scrubbed it well, broke it up and processed in the food processor. No I did not peel it, nor do I peel fresh ginger. Much to the dismay of my potato lovin Dutchman, I don’t peel them either.


Using a funnel makes it easier to pack into a mason jar so as not to waste any.


I forgot two pieces of turmeric, my jar was full, and I now was going to process fresh ginger, so I just mixed those pieces into the ginger. Then I made another jar of just plain ginger.


Add apple cider vinegar to each jar and put in the refrigerator.


Now I am ready to make a new batch of Master Tonic, once I get some horseradish, but will keep some of these ingredients separate as well, so I don’t get sick of the same flavor.

Speaking of not liking to waste things, especially flavor, my food processor was now covered in bits of turmeric and fresh ginger and I did not want to just wash that down the drain, so I made salad dressing.

I added an egg to the processor and with the machine running, drizzled in some mint olive oil I made this summer when I dehydrated meadow mint and then covered it in oil. It thickened up into mayonnaise, and I added some cream to thin it out and some salt. Yummy.


13 thoughts on “Master Tonic Revisited – Preserving Fresh Turmeric and Ginger

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  5. Thanks so much for the blog! I love the pictures! I just finished making Master Tonic for the first time and have some leftover ginger, onion and turmeric. If I decide to put the turmeric and ginger in a mason jar in the fridge how do I use it? I have a hard time using turmeric in recipes. Do you have any favorites you could link me to?

    • Thank you Becky for the sweet comments. Usually what I am doing is experimenting and it is a work in progress. I am SO happy with my ginger and turmeric, and I agree, turmeric does not have the ideal flavor to use always on its own. I have found that mixing the ginger and turmeric is wonderful, but I also love them separate in the ACV. Always at the ready for aoli, bone broth, lentils, meat pies and stew… I’ll think of other things for them both, but I really have been using them lately for almost everything. :)

      • Thanks for the ideas! I guess I will just have to jump in there and just start adding it to my cooking. I did put a jar of the mix of ginger and turmeric in the fridge!!

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  7. Your comments are witty, informational, your photos are fabulous. Now tell me why you have not put together a book and make a million dollars………??????????!!!??

  8. Pingback: Master Tonic and Hard to Peel Eggs | grassfood.

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