Holiday Wassail

Prepare this beverage a day ahead and reheat before serving. You'll love the way the spices fill your home with wonderful holiday aromas. The perfect welcome for your guests.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25 to 30 minutes
Makes: 2 quarts

1 can (16 ounces) apricot halves, undrained
4 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
2 cups apple cider
1 cup orange juice
18 whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks (3 1/2 inches long), broken
Additional cinnamon sticks (optional)

Place apricots and their liquid in a blender or food processor, cover and process until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan. Add pineapple juice, cider and orange juice. Place cloves and cinnamon sticks in a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with a string to form a bag. Add to saucepan. (Or place loose spices in pan and strain through a fine sieve before serving.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes; remove and discard spices. (Can be made ahead. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Reheat before serving.) Serve hot in mugs with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

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