Cinnamon Syrup is a delicious addition to so many cocktails and coffee drinks. Not only is it tasty, but it's also super easy to make at home! It has just three ingredients, but brings a ton of flavor to your drinks. This syrup is great for everything from fall and winter bourbon cocktails to tropical Tiki drinks, and of course, yummy cinnamon dolce lattes.
Cinnamon is one of the most versatile spices, and it pairs well with lots of different flavors that might seem surprising. It goes really well with pineapple in Tiki style drinks, and it's a staple in wintertime and holiday drinks too.
Check out some other simple syrup flavors you can make at home: Caramel Syrup, Sage Syrup, and Hibiscus Syrup. Or, you can read up on homemade simple syrup in this deep dive tutorial: how to make simple syrup.
Types of Cinnamon
There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon and cassia. They both work great in this syrup, but they do have their own unique properties. You can use either type of cinnamon in this recipe, depending on your tastes, or even mix the two together.
Ceylon cinnamon (pictured below on the left) is a little softer and more flaky in texture than cassia. It has a milder and sweeter cinnamon flavor. Ceylon is generally considered superior in culinary circles. It's more rare, at least here in the U.S., and expensive than cassia.
Cassia is what most people in the U.S. think of when they think of cinnamon. Its flavor is stronger than Ceylon, with a spicier edge to it (think Red Hots candy). There are different subtypes of cassia based on the region it is grown as well, like Saigon and Indonesia.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make a batch of this syrup:
- Granulated sugar - white sugar is fine, or unrefined sugar works well here too. Bigger sugar granules will take longer to dissolve in the water.
- Water - filtered or bottled water is best.
- Whole cinnamon sticks - we'll be breaking these up to get more flavor from them.
Here are a few ways you can change the recipe based on how you like it:
- Low sugar/keto friendly - you can use a sugar substitute instead of regular sugar for a low-sugar syrup. The best substitute in my opinion is allulose, because it tastes the most like sugar, and it thickens the syrup on its own (unlike erythritol).
- Cinnamon Dolce syrup - use a cup of brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar for this tasty syrup. If you don't have brown sugar, just add a tablespoon of molasses to the normal recipe. Then, before adding it to the bottle, stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Winter Spice Syrup - instead of just cinnamon, you can flavor this syrup with a mix of spices. Try a mix of star anise, clove and nutmeg together with the cinnamon. You can make your own mix, or look for a bag of mulling spices.
You'll need a few things in your kitchen to make this syrup. You'll need a small saucepan that has a cover, along with a spatula or spoon to stir the mixture. Either measuring cups or a kitchen scale are essential to get the right ratios of ingredients. You'll also need a strainer, a funnel, and a resealable bottle to hold the finished syrup.
Start out by measuring your water and sugar and combining them in your saucepan.
Next, break up your cinnamon into smaller pieces. This will help more of the surface of the cinnamon come in contact with the syrup, which makes flavor go into the liquid more quickly. Stir the mixture and put it over high heat.
When the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
Take the saucepan off the heat, cover it and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Once it's fully cooled, add a funnel to your storage bottle and pour the syrup through a strainer to make sure none of the cinnamon pieces get into the bottle.
Seal up the bottle and store the syrup in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Discard at any sign of mold.
Hint: Make sure your bottle will hold at least 10 ounces (~300 ml) of liquid for one batch of this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Flavored syrup is usually good for about 2 weeks if kept in the refrigerator. Unflavored simple syrup can last up to a month. Just keep an eye on the syrup and discard at any signs of cloudiness or mold growth. To extend the shelf life, you can add an ounce of vodka to the syrup, as long as you're intending to make cocktails with it!
Yes, definitely! Keep it in the fridge to slow the growth of mold. Making it with the heated method will reduce the amount of bacteria in the bottle, but it will still eventually go bad due to the ratio of sugar to water.
Cinnamon syrup makes a great gift at the holidays! Mix up a batch and bottle it into small bottles, and gift it along with a bottle of alcohol and a printed cocktail recipe. Just be sure to tell your gift recipient to keep it in the fridge!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 to 6 cinnamon sticks
- Add the sugar and water into a small saucepan.
- Break up the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces and add them to the saucepan.
- Place the saucepan on the stove over high heat and stir everything together.
- Stirring occasionally, let the mixture heat until it boils. Then turn the heat down to medium low, so the liquid cools to a simmer.
- Let it simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take the mixture off of the heat and place the saucepan on a cooling rack to cool down. Cover it while it is cooling down.
- Once the mixture is at room temperature, uncover it and place a funnel into the opening of the bottle you'll be using to store it.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer and into the funnel so the finished syrup goes into the bottle.
- Store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Discard at any sign of mold growth.