Add all ingredients except the bitters into a large saucepan over medium heat and stir to blend.
Once warm, transfer to a punch bowl for serving, or ladle into glasses directly from the pot.
Add 2 dashes of the bitters to each punch cup.
Serve warm, or transfer to an ice-filled punch bowl for warmer weather.
*Maple simple syrup: Add 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Strain into a jar and seal tightly with a lid. Syrup will keep, refrigerated, for about one month.