I just brewed a batch of Christmas Cider using the Cat's Meow Holiday Cider recipe.
It looks like the site is down right now, but I can give you the recipe from my brew log.
5 gallons apple juice (I use "Indian Summer", it's not from concentrate and has no preservatives)
6 cups of maple syrup
2 1/3 tbsp whole cloves
1/2 whole nutmeg, grated
10 4" cinnamon sticks
3 lemons (Zest and Juice)
2 inches of ginger root, peeled and grated (Note: I like a nice ginger flavor, but some might find this to be too much ginger.)
I grated the zest (outer peel) from the lemons and then added the zest, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg to a steeping bag. (I ended up using a nylon stocking, it worked out fine)
Pour a gallon of juice into a stock pot or brew kettle and heat to dissolve the maple syrup, stirring until it is completely dissovled. Juice the lemons and add the juice just prior to adding the spice/zest bag. I steeped the spices at simmering temps for about 45 minutes. I then removed the spice bag and added the mixture to the remaining 4 gallons of juice in the primary. I then added a campden solution (1 crushed tablet to one teaspoon of water per gallon of must, heated in a sauce pan to dissolve) to the must and allowed it to sit for 24 hours. I also added 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of pectic enzyme, and 1 and 1/2 tsp powdered grape tannin.
At this time I also prepared a yeast starter using 1 vial of White Labs English Cider yeast (WLP775, I believe), a White Labs servomyces capsule, and 1/4 teaspoon yeast energizer.
After the must had sat for 24 hours and the yeast starter was humming along I pitched the yeast.
Eight days later I racked to a secondary and it was the clearest, best tasting cider I have ever had. It is a thing of beauty. It can only get better with a few more weeks in the secondary and it should be ready to go into some beautiful growlers just in time for Christmas.
Primary: Beer, wine, or cider
Secondary: Beer, wine, or cider
Drinking : Beer, wine, or cider