Unpasteurized juice/cider is what you should use - preferably made with good cider apples. If its not fresh, add campden/k-meta before pitching the yeast, but if its fresh, skip the k-meta and it will taste a lot better.
I'd recommending skipping all of the spices and whatnot as well. If you start with store bought juice, it will ferment out with nearly zero flavor and needs something to make it drinkable. If you start with really good juice, you will get really good cider. Just pitch a little ale yeast or let it wild ferment. If you like it with a bit of sweetness, cold crash it or let it ferment out if you like it dry