Heritage Apple Punch

– recipe courtesy of Tipicular Fixin's

Heritage Apple Punch
8 small apples
2 cups (500 mL) water
6+1 cups (1.5 L + 250 mL) organic heritage apple cider
1/2 cup (125 mL) Ontario Honey
4 sticks of cinnamon
6 cloves
1 star anise
Zest of 1 lemon, in wide strips
2 cups ( 500 mL) Tag Vodka
2 cups (500 mL) Pinot Grigio

Cut four of the apples once horizontally. In a small bowl combine 1 cup cider and 2 cups water, float the apples cut side up, place on a level surface in the freezer for at least 2 hours. In a large pot combine cider, honey, cinnamon, cloves, anise and lemon zest and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and strain. Add vodka & wine. Remove ice bowl from freezer & un-mould by dipping the bowl in warm water for three or four seconds. Place the ice in a punch bowl. Pour cider mixture over top and finish garnish by floating the remaining four apples in the punch.