- 6 cups apple cider
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 8 whole cloves
- Zest of one orange, removed in one or two fat strips with a vegetable peeler
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, soft
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup light rum
- About 3 Tablespoons applejack, optional
Combine the cider and brown sugar in a large saucepan. Using a skewer or toothpick, poke 8 holes into the strips of orange zest, and insert the cloves. Toss these, along with the cinnamon sticks, into the cider. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; allow to warm and infuse for 15 minutes.
Combine the soft butter, nutmeg, and allspice in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
When ready to serve, add the rum to the cider pot, then ladle the mixture into cups. Top with a teaspoonful of spiced butter and a swirl of applejack, if desired. Garnish each cup with one of the cinnamon sticks.