In a 4-cup glass measure combine sugar and 2 cups water.
Loosely tie spices in cheesecloth; add to sugar mixture.
Micro-cook, uncovered, till boiling, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Let stand 30 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice.
Micro-cook till boiling, 6 to 7 minutes longer.
Remove spice bag.
Stir in brandy or rum, if desired.
Serve in mugs.
Top each serving with about 7 teaspoon butter.
Serve with cinnamon stick stirrers, if desired.