This seems like the right kind of drink for the first day of October!  Right now I'm sitting on our porch drinking a big mug of hot apple cider this morning... but I love this cocktail recipe for a party.  Wouldn't you love to be sitting outside tonight with a hot cup of cider that is spiked with spiced rum, vanilla and orange?  Count me in.
Spiked Mulled Cider
to warm you from the inside

1 gallon of apple cider or juice
2 cups of spiced rum
1 cup of Mulling Spices*
1 vanilla bean
1 orange, sliced
1 teaspoon of ground clove
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Sticks, Star Anise and Cloves for Garnish

Put all ingredients into a large pot on your stove and simmer on low.  Serve warm. 

*If you'd like to make your own Mulling Spices, combine whole cloves, star anise, and allspice, OR you can buy it from Williams-Sonoma : Williams-Sonoma Mulling Spices (makes a great gift, too!)