(1) Combine all but the liqueur in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
(2) Keep the pot on the stove on the lowest setting to keep warm. Ladle approximately 5 oz of punch over 1.5 oz of spirit. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, winter herbs, additional star anise and cranberry in whichever combination suits you. The punch can be left on warm for about 1.5 hours while guests enjoy.
Note: Use teacups or small, curved mugs for serving – straight walled mugs will concentrate the warm, evaporating alcohol into your nose as you drink, throwing the experience out of balance.