If you don't have cheesecloth, remove tea leaves from an ordinary tea bag, fill the empty bag with cloves and ginger, and tie it securely with the tea bag string: let the cinnamon sticks float separately while simmering. Serve in decorative punch bowl alongside a small pitcher of rum marked with a label or card. You may want to have an extra sachet and more of the cider mixture handy in case you have thirsty guests.
10 whole cloves
4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
4 pieces crystallized ginger, chopped
1 gallon apple cider
4 cups pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
White rum (optional)
How to Make It
Place first 3 ingredients on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely.
Combine cheesecloth bag, cider, and next 5 ingredients (cider through salt) in a large stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Discard cheesecloth bag. Serve with rum, if desired.
This makes a large, delicious pot of cider. However, I'd recommend buying cheesecloth instead of trying to use a tea bag. My tea bag broke midway through simmering and I had to strain the cider into a few different pots (since it makes such a large quantity). Regardless of the trouble, though, the end result was worth it. Especially with rum added, it makes a hot and cheery winter drink.