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Spiced Apple Cider with Clove Oranges

The perfect drink for autumn entertaining, this cider gets a spicy kick from cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Keep the cider warm on the stovetop so guests can help themselves.

Ingredients:

  • 3 small oranges or tangerines, about 3/4 lb. (375 g) total
  • 36 whole cloves
  • 3 quarts (3 l) apple cider
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, plus 10 to 12 sticks each tied with an orange
      zest strip
  • 2 whole star anise

Directions:

Stud each orange with 12 cloves. Place the oranges in a large pot, pour in the apple cider and set over low heat. Tie the 4 cinnamon sticks and the star anise in a cheesecloth bundle and add it to the pot. Bring to a simmer and keep warm over low heat until serving.

To serve, ladle the cider into cups and garnish each serving with a cinnamon stick tied with orange zest. Serves 10 to 12.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Entertaining with the Seasons, by Georgeanne Brennan (Free Press, 2010).