Step 1In a large, nonreactive pot, place the cider, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, star anise and zest. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, still covered, for 15 minutes.
Step 2Line a colander with cheesecloth and strain the cider into another pot, discarding the spices. Heat the cider over very low heat, add the orange slices and serve hot. This makes about 8 cups cider.
Step 3Variation: For alcoholic cider, stir the rum or brandy into the strained cider and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the orange slices and serve hot.