1Place cranberries, 1/4 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.
2Add the remaining 1 1/4 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.
3If 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.
Build your Thanksgiving menu
Fig Jam and Goat Cheese Crostini
Deviled Eggs with Tarragon
Roasted Rosemary Walnuts
Hot Crab Dip
Spiced Pecan and Apple Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Classic Soft Dinner Rolls
Roast Turkey with Creamy Herbed Gravy
Cranberry and Citrus Sauce
Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Brown Bread Stuffing with Chestnuts, Apples, and Sausage