Cranberry juice: You can use 100% cranberry juice or a cranberry juice cocktail (the cocktail is a prettier color but has added sugar).
Sugar: My recipe has 2 cups, but you can add it to taste. Brown sugar is fine, too. Or Substitute 6 to 10 packets or teaspoons of Splenda OR Stevia, but taste it along the way so you don't go overboard.
Apple slices or fresh cranberries: For garnish. I like to slice the apples sideways through the core so the seeds look like stars.
Yield: One recipe makes 96 ounces, enough for twelve 8-ounce servings.
Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy within the week.
Make ahead: You can make it the day before, but then you'd need to reheat it, so it's not absolutely necessary. Reheat the cider on the stove and transfer to the crockpot to speed things along.
Stove-top: Add the ingredients to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until hot, about 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to warm and serve with a ladle and mugs closely so everyone can help themselves. Or, transfer to a slow cooker to keep warm all day long.