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Pour cider into a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot ad turn burner to low and bring cider to just below a simmer.
Wrap mulling spices in cheesecloth and add to the pot of cider. Add cinnamon sticks, sliced oranges, sliced apples, star anise pods and maple syrup and give cider a good stir. Cover pot and allow cider to cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the cider as you don't want it to come to a boil. This shouldn't happen, however, with the burner on low.
Remove and discard mulling spices and serve cider warm in mugs. Garnish cider with apple slices, cinnamon sticks and cranberries if desired.