Middle Branch Cocktail
Credit: Andrew Kist

How do we love thee, fall? Let us count the ways … and then combine them all in the form of a cocktail. Lucinda Sterling, bartender and managing partner of Middle Branch (arguably the coolest bar in N.Y.C.'s Midtown neighborhood) has managed to capture everything we adore about autumn in one toasty beverage, aptly named “The Warm Embrace.” The inspiration, she says, comes from the spirit of the season: “Apple bobbing and dressing warm during the fall reminds me of tea, potpourri and baking spices. My grandmother would make apple pies when I was a youth, using chunks of fresh ginger minced with the apple to give it a spicy characteristic over a simply sweet taste.”

Sterling’s description alone makes us feel like we’re bundled in our favorite cable-knit sweaters and cashmere scarves. Leave your future cocktail party guests feeling fuzzy from head to toe with this epic tea-tail recipe.

The Warm Embrace


1 oz Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey ($65;

1 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur ($27;

1/2 oz fresh pressed apple cider

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

2 oz Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea ($4/box;


1. Steep tea to taste.

2. Mix ingredients in a ceramic mug.

3. Serve warm and garnish with an apple slice.