Homemade cinnamon syrup is an excellent sweetener for drinks and desserts. You can add it to your morning coffee, to cocktails, or drizzle it over some freshly made pancakes. Making your own is affordable and easy to do. All you need is water, sugar, and some fragrant cinnamon sticks.
So let's see how you can make a DIY cinnamon syrup, which cinnamon to use, and which type of sugar works best.
- 1 cup Water
- ⅔ cup White sugar
- ⅓ cup Demerara sugar
- 5 Cinnamon sticks
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- Add the water and sugar into a saucepan and gently heat up the mix while stirring.1 cup Water, ⅔ cup White sugar, ⅓ cup Demerara sugar
- Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add cinnamon sticks to the saucepan and reduce the heat.5 Cinnamon sticks
- Cover the saucepan and let the mix simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Then remove the saucepan from the heat, cover the syrup, and let it cool down.
- Ideally, let the mix infuse for 6 hours or even more. If you're in a rush, you can make it one hour only. But that's the absolute minimum. And be aware that the longer you let the cinnamon infuse, the better the results will be.
- Finally, remove cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla extract before bottling.½ tsp Vanilla extract
- For that extra kick of cinnamon, add one or two cinnamon sticks to your syrup bottle.
Which Type of Cinnamon to Use & Why?
First of all, use cinnamon sticks, not powder. -Ground cinnamon won't dissolve nicely and leaves you with a grainy texture, which we don't want in our cocktails.
Further, there are different types of cinnamon, and the two most common ones are Cassia and Ceylon, and Cassia cinnamon sticks are what we like to use for our syrup.
Cassia cinnamon originally comes from China. Some closely related varieties are sold under the names Indonesian Korentje or Vietnamese Saigon. This type is relatively inexpensive and has a deep and spicy taste. It's the most common type in the US, and most likely, this is the taste you associate with cinnamon.
The other option is Ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka. It's also known as Mexican cinnamon or true cinnamon. This name suggests that this would be the only "real" cinnamon. However, don't worry, both types (Ceylon and Cassia) are genuine.
The taste of Ceylon is more subtle and mellow, with floral hints and citrusy notes. It's also more expensive than Cassia and generally considered higher quality.
However, when used in cinnamon syrup, Ceylon will break down too quickly, and the taste is not intense and spicy enough. Hence, most cinnamon simple syrup is made with Cassia, and so is ours.
Best sugar for Homemade Cinnamon Syrup
I recommend a combination of regular white sugar and Demerara. Use one part Demerara sugar to two parts white sugar to get a rich yet balanced sweetness in this cinnamon syrup for cocktails.
Homemade syrups are often made with white granulated sugar. This standard type of sugar is widely available, affordable, and works great most of the time. Yet, you probably know that there are other types of sugar that can add more flavor and depth to syrups:
Turbinado or Demerara sugar is rich in flavor due to molasses. However, these two sugars are so flavorful that using only those for your cinnamon syrup would overpower the delicate cinnamon taste.
Why Make Your Own Cinnamon Syrup?
So why should you make a homemade version of something you can easily buy in stores? Well, first of all, making cinnamon syrup is much cheaper than buying it in-store.
On top, the result tastes better than store-bought versions and doesn't contain preservatives or other additives. Plus, you can tweak the recipe, use different sugars, and add more cinnamon flavor to get exactly what you want.
Yes, a DIY cinnamon syrup does require a little effort. Not overly much, but you will need about 30 minutes to an hour to make this cinnamon-infused syrup. In turn, you get something that's much better than the bottles from the supermarket.
Ways to Tweak the Recipe
The recipe for this syrup is quite simple and only asks for a few ingredients. We like a bit of vanilla extract with it, but you could also leave it out for a more cinnamon-forward taste.
Another way to tweak the recipe is by charring the cinnamon sticks slightly. This gets you a distinctly smoky and very flavorful cinnamon syrup.
Also, our recipe uses the standard 1:1 approach of water to sugar. If you want a richer syrup, alter the ratio to two parts sugar per one part of water. The result will be sweeter and add more viscosity to your drinks.
Finally, when bottling the syrup, you can add one or two cinnamon sticks to the syrup. That creates an extra kick of cinnamon and is a highly recommended way to get even more flavor into your sweetener.
More Homemade Syrups
- Learn how to make an excellent DIY Banana syrup for cocktails.
- Grilled pineapple syrup is a great way to add smoky pineapple notes to mixed drinks.
- Homemade elderflower syrup is a subtle, sweet, floral syrup perfect for Spritz cocktails.
- Get fancy and create homemade Prosecco syrup.
- Love color-changing cocktails? Try to make your own with homemade butterfly pea syrup.
- Homemade Oleo Saccharum is a great way to add citrus notes to cocktails. Learn how to make this fragrant mix of essential oils and sugar.
- Our Christmas spiced syrup is perfect for bringing Christmas flavors into cocktails. Try it on our Christmas Rum Sour cocktail.