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Hot and Spicy Cranberry Punch

4 whole cardamom pods
8 inches total of stick cinnamon, broken
6 whole cloves
2 cups dry red wine
1-1/3 cups water
1 6-ounce can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup cranberry liqueur or crème de cassis (optional)
Orange slices, halved (optional)
Whole cloves (optional)


Pinch cardamom pods to break open. Tie cardamom, cinnamon and 6 whole cloves into a spice bag (use a square of cheesecloth or a coffee filter). In a 3-1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker, combine spice bag, wine, water, frozen juice concentrate and honey. Add cranberry liqueur or crème de cassis, if desired. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Remove and discard spice bag. If desired, stud orange slices with additional whole cloves. Ladle punch into cups and float an orange slice atop each serving. Yield: 9 4-ounce servings.
For 5- or 6-quart slow cooker: Double all ingredients. Prepare as above. Cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting 4 to 5 hours. Yield: 18 4-ounce servings.

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