2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped and peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 chilled bottle (25.4 ounces) sparkling cider (about 3 1/4 cups)
1 quart chilled cranberry juice cocktail
1 liter chilled club soda or seltzer
1 cup dark rum (optional)
In small saucepan, bring cinnamon, cloves, ginger, water and sugar to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Cool syrup. (Syrup may be made ahead up to 1 week and chilled, covered).
In punch bowl, combine remaining ingredients and strain syrup through fine sieve into punch. Stir punch and add ice blocks.
Makes about 13 cups.