In a large stockpot over high heat, combine apples, oranges, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. Cover with water, leaving an inch to an inch and a half space at the top of the stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until apples are completely soft, about 2 hours.
Using a potato masher or large spoon, carefully press the apples and oranges against the sides of the stockpot to release their juices. Cover and continue to simmer until flavors meld, about 1 hour more.
Strain the cider through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a very large bowl, pressing the apples and oranges against the side of the strainer to release their juices. Discard solids. Return cider to the pot to keep warm and serve, garnish with cinnamon sticks and sliced oranges.
Apples: Sweet Galas are my go-to for Apple Cider, but feel free to tailor your choice to your flavor preference. For sweeter results, you could also consider Fuji, Golden or Red Delicious, or Cortland. For more tartness, try Braeburn, McIntosh, Jonathan, or Pink Lady. No need to stick with just one variety; you can certainly mix any of the above apple varieties as desired.
Oranges: The tart citrus element really amplifies the natural sweetness of the apples for a beautifully-balanced hot drink recipe.
Yield: This recipe makes 12 (1-cup) servings.
Storage: Allow the cider to come to room temperature, then store in an airtight container (such as this lid-topped pitcher) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead: Apple Cider can be made up to 4 days ahead; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then reheat in a large stock pot and enjoy.
Freezer: Cool completely and transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container (leave 1/2-inch headspace for expansion) and freeze for up to 3 months. For Apple Cider ice cubes to add to cocktails or tea, freeze in an ice cube tray to pop out and use as needed (or to reheat and savor a smaller batch at a time).