Food Eyeswoon Kitchen:

Soul Warming Cider!

Last weekend I hosted a dreamy fall harvest dinner in Upstate New York at my dear friend’s farm, Westwind Orchard. There will be plenty of swoon-worthy details to follow next week when I reveal all the amazing aspects of the experience  (decor details, a farm inspired Cointreau Rickey cocktail and, of course, the food created by Chef Jody Williams of Buvette) but to whet your palate I thought I’d share a delish hot mulled cider recipe which is also shared on Design Sponge! I was originally concerned about spending an entire day and night outdoors on the farm, as the temperatures have begun to drop. I knew that a cozy spiked Cointreau cider would be the perfect drink to ward off any chills—perhaps even more effective than wrapping yourself in a blanket by the fire (though we happily did both, just to be safe!)

Together with Cointreau I crafted the ultimate crowd-pleaser: a cider made directly from Westwind Orchard’s cider. In a way this warming drink was representative of the dinner’s community coming together: the perfect union of Cointreau’s world with that of Westwind Orchard, citrus notes blending seamlessly with the crisp flavors of the handpicked apples. Inside the barn I brewed the mulled cider quite easily by simply slicing the fruits and combining them with the spices and cider. My only special advice is to be sure to add the Cointreau at the very end so that you don’t burn off all the alcohol!

A hot toddy-esque drink like this one is perfect to carry you into the colder months and would be a great addition to your holiday menu – transitioning easily between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I highly recommend the recipe to any autumn bash, feast, or holiday party—it’s ideal for a crowd because you can quickly make a huge pot and leave it on the stovetop for guests to serve themselves.

I couldn’t call myself EyeSwoon without the addition of some beautiful yet crafty element.  I love to inspire super simple ideas but executed in a thoughtful way – using only the ingredients laid out in front of me: linen napkins, cinnamon sticks, simple twine, and a sprig of wheat – I created little cinnamon bundles that act as a super simple yet elevated touch.

Not everything needs to be complicated—especially when you’re already in a beautiful place. With the drinks complete, we gathered around to toast to that and more: our creative little community, the changing seasons, and the blessings of friendship. I hope you’ll carve out some time to curl up with your own pals and sip on this swoony concoction! Feel free to try it virgin for the kiddies—though, truth be told, it’s the splash of Cointreau that really warms the soul.

Photography by Winnie Au


Hot Mulled Cider

Cointreau & Westwind Orchard



12 oz. Cointreau

6 oz. fresh lime juice

4 Cups of cider

3 cinnamon sticks

2 whole star anise

2 whole cloves

1 apples sliced thin

2 oranges sliced thin & for garnish


In a large saucepan, bring cider, lime, fruit and spices to a boil; cover, and remove from heat. Let steep at least 20 minutes.  Add the Cointreau last so you don’t cook out the alcohol! Divide among individual mugs and serve hot.  Garnish with a fresh cinnamon stick and a slice of apple or orange.  Enjoy!

Serves 6 people

Share this Swoon   –  

More Swoon

Food Eyeswoon Kitchen:

Athena’s Memorial Day Menu

Food Eyeswoon Kitchen:

Star-Spangled Berries


Subscribe to our newsletter

Get exclusive access to recipes, promotions, videos, and original content.
We'll never share your information.