Place cinnamon sticks, cardamom, allspice, cloves and star anise in an airtight plastic bag or use a pestle and mortar. Gently grind or roll with a rolling pin until a coarse blend forms.
Add orange peel and peppercorns, toss to mix.
Add 2 tablespoons of mix to every 1/2 gallon of apple cider, heat gently over medium heat for 5 minutes. Serve hot or room temperature. Some people like the bits, but if you don't, run it through a fine mesh sieve before serving.
This recipe will make about 6-7 gallons of mulled cider.
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