‘Tis the Season for Cinnamon!

It’s finally December — that means Christmas, shopping, and cinnamon-flavored cocktails.  The delicious spice has been with us since the beginning of recorded history: Moses liked it, the ancient Egyptians hoarded it, and I put it on waffles myself.  To start, I decided to make some homemade cinnamon simple syrup. Sure, you can buy the stuff at your local Giant, but that robs you of the primal joy of making it yourself!  Ultra-easy, just throw a cup of sugar, a cup of water, and four split cinnamon sticks into a pan and simmer for around 10 minutes.  Not only do you get a a cup of delicious syrup, but the wonderful scent will permeate your home and get it smelling just like Christmas.

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With all this syrup on hand, I need to make some drinks!  Via the always helpful “Real Simple” website, I endeavored to mix four cocktails that swim in cinnamon.  I rigged the recipes a bit and doubled the standard cinnamon syrup amount in a few of the drinks — YOLO.  Started with the “Yankee Skipper” which is really strong and very rum forward.  A good stiff drink, the lemon and cinnamon play a subtle, supporting role to the powerful flavors of the Plymouth Gin and Myer’s.  Enjoyable.

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz dark rum
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz cinnamon syrup

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Our next drink, “The Orchard” gave me the opportunity to mix two fall/winter favorites, cinnamon and apple cider -good, the cider is strong but doesn’t overwhelm the bourbon.  Did get the pear hint off the vodka, which leants a nice organic bite to the apple taste.  Great cocktail for outdoor sipping while swaddled in a big sweater.

  • 3 oz apple cider
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz pear liqueur (I used pear flavored vodka)
  • 1 oz cinnamon syrup

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On to the “Dusky Rusky” – nothing special in this straight forward vodka and coffee mix.  I upped the cinnamon dosage but couldn’t really pick it out of the strong Kahlua flavor.  Just a fine vodka and coffee taste, no big deal.  Easy.

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz cinnamon syrup

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My celebration of cinnamon concluded with the “Bee’s Knees” – this was really good, the rum and cream play well with each other, the dairy smoothing out the rum’s sweetness and burn.  The generous dollop of honey makes it sweeter and even softer, and that kiss of cinnamon adds a little ginger and spice sensation at the end.  A very good, “nogg-ish” type drink that has this stunning, winter look.  Perfect for holiday parties!

  • 1 oz heavy cream
  • 1/2 cinnamon syrup
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 1 tbsp honey

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