Using a big Dutch oven pan mix all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer 5 minutes to melt the sugar. Remove from burner and allow to cool. Chill and serve. Serve punch warm in the winter. If you want to serve the punch right away add ice cubes to cool it down.
Punch can be frozen. Dip or pour punch into pitchers or bowls that will fit in the freezer. Covered. Thaw ahead of time until mixture is slushy and serve. Chill some and freeze some. The frozen and the non-frozen can then be poured into a punch bowl and stay cool longer. Punch can be re-frozen. Makes 5 quarts. Add a few drops of food coloring and use mixture at different times of the year: For weddings, showers, Easter, Christmas, etc.
Option: Leave the food coloring out and use a few scoops of lime, lemon, orange or strawberry sherbet. It gives the recipe a little smokey appearance but not too much sherbet. It might be too sweet for you. Taste before you add too much.