Spiced Apple Cider
Makes a generous quart
To keep the cider warm and make pouring easier, transfer it to the carafe of an automatic drip coffeemaker and turn on the machine.
1 quart apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
Zest of 1/2 orange, removed with a vegetable peeler
Bring cider, spices, and orange zest to simmer over low heat, continue to simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes.
To serve, pour 1 to 2 tablespoons optional brandy in each mug. Ladle in hot cider and serve.