Place the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag.
In a large saucepan, combine the apple cider, pineapple juice, apricot nectar and orange juice. Add spice bag. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until flavors are blended. Discard spice bag. Stir in rum if desired. Serve warm. Yield: 14 servings (about 2-1/2 quarts).