You know how at fancy cocktail bars, you'll see all sorts of intimidating-sounding ingredients? Green peppercorn syrup, lavender bitters, lemongrass tincture—things like that? Some of them require days of work and 17 different ingredients, but some are unbelievably easy to make and can up your cocktail game in a big way.
Let's start simple: with a cinnamon syrup. If you're looking to get cinnamon flavor into a cocktail, it's the most effective way (ground spices are much too gritty). And all you have to do is make a sugar syrup and let it steep with cinnamon sticks. Plain old white sugar will work, but we like the richer, darker flavors of demerara sugar or Sugar In The Raw, which you can find at just about any grocery store.
Here's how to make a pint of syrup: