Sparkling Christmas Punch Recipe

Ingredients
<br>- 4 cups apple juice or pear nectar
<br>- 4 inches stick cinnamon
<br>- 1 vanilla bean, split, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
<br>- 6 whole cardamom pods, broken
<br>- 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry champagne or two 12-ounce bottles lemon-lime carbonated water, chilled
<br>- 1 large apple, cored and sliced crosswise, or 1 pear, cored and sliced (optional)
<br>- Cranberries (optional)
<br>- Ice cubes
<br><p></p>Directions
<br>step 1: Pour the apple juice or pear nectar into a medium saucepan. For spice bag, place the stick cinnamon, vanilla bean (if using), and cardamom on a double-thick, 6-inch-square piece of 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Bring up corners; tie with string. Add spice bag to juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
<br>step 2: Before serving, remove spice bag and discard. Pour juice into a large pitcher or punch bowl. Stir in vanilla extract (if using) and the champagne or carbonated water. Add apples or pears and cranberries, if desired. Add ice just before serving.
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Ingredients
- 4 cups apple juice or pear nectar
- 4 inches stick cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean, split, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 whole cardamom pods, broken
- 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry champagne or two 12-ounce bottles lemon-lime carbonated water, chilled
- 1 large apple, cored and sliced crosswise, or 1 pear, cored and sliced (optional)
- Cranberries (optional)
- Ice cubes

Directions
step 1: Pour the apple juice or pear nectar into a medium saucepan. For spice bag, place the stick cinnamon, vanilla bean (if using), and cardamom on a double-thick, 6-inch-square piece of 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Bring up corners; tie with string. Add spice bag to juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
step 2: Before serving, remove spice bag and discard. Pour juice into a large pitcher or punch bowl. Stir in vanilla extract (if using) and the champagne or carbonated water. Add apples or pears and cranberries, if desired. Add ice just before serving.

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