4 oranges—sliced into 1/8-inch rounds (about 40 slices), ends discarded
One 8-ounce piece of fresh ginger
8 cinnamon sticks
40 whole black peppercorns
24 whole allspice berries
24 whole star anise pods
16 whole cloves
- Preheat the oven to 175°. Set large wire racks on each of 3 large rimmed baking sheets. Arrange the orange slices in a single layer on 2 of the racks. Dry the oranges in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 4 hours, until the flesh is slightly tacky and the peel is crisp; flip the orange slices and shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through drying. Let the slices cool completely on the racks.
- Meanwhile, trim the ginger as necessary to fit the width of a mandoline. Slice the ginger into lengthwise strips 1/8 inch thick; discard the end pieces. Arrange the ginger in a single layer on the remaining rack. Dry the ginger in the oven for about 3 hours, until dry to the touch; flip the ginger and shift the pans from front to back halfway through drying. Let the ginger cool.
- Divide the oranges, ginger and spices into 8 bags and secure with twine.
The spice packets can be stored in a cool place for 6 months.
In a saucepan, combine the contents of 1 packet with one 750- milliliter bottle of wine or apple cider. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let steep until well- flavored, 10 to 15 minutes.