3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole star anise, optional
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
6 cups unfiltered apple cider
1/2 cup dark rum (optional)
Place first five ingredients in the center of a 12-inch square of cheesecloth. Wrap tightly and tie securely with kitchen twine.
In large saucepan over low heat, bring cider to a simmer. Add cheesecloth packet and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in rum, if desired. Remove cloth packet.
Ladle into mugs and garnish with additional cinnamon sticks.