Brandy-Apple Punch Recipe
Various autumnal delights combine for a festive holiday cocktail.

1 cup cranberries (about 4 ounces), thawed if frozen
1½ cups water
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
3 cups apple cider or apple juice
3 cups brandy
1½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 15 lemons)
¾ cup maple syrup
1 large Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced, for garnish

1. Place cranberries, ¼ cup of the water, and the brown sugar in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until the cranberries are completely smashed and the brown sugar has dissolved slightly.
2. Add the remaining 1¼ cups water, apple cider or juice, brandy, lemon juice, and maple syrup and stir vigorously until well combined and the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour the mixture through a strainer set over a 10-cup pitcher and discard the solids left in the strainer. Chill for at least 1 hour, or until cold.
3. If desired, transfer the mixture to a punch bowl and top with apple slices. To serve, pour 3 ounces of the punch into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a thin slice of apple. Serves 18 to 24. –Jill Santopietro for