From guest blogger Kate Temple-West of www.friendlyherbalist.com.
Cinnamon Tincture and Liqueur are very simple to make.
-Quart size wide-mouth Mason jar
-Bottle of 100 proof vodka (at least a quart)
-Approximately 1 lb of cinnamon sticks.
-Distilled water (optional)
-Cup or more of raw honey
-Fine-mesh sieve and/or unbleached cheesecloth
-A funnel is useful for easy bottling
Break/cut the cinnamon sticks with hands and/or kitchen sheers at least in half.
Fill the Mason jar with the broken sticks. Add vodka over to cover them completely.
Cover. Let steep a minimum of 24 hours. I usually do mine for three days, but some herbalists let it steep for six weeks.
Strain using a fine-mesh sieve lined with unbleached cheesecloth into a pot with a lip for easy pouring.
For a medicinal tincture, reserve four ounces straight, no honey or water. This may be used, a half teaspoon at a time or so diluted in at least 4 oz of water, as a home remedy.
For the delicious liqueur, slowly add a third of a cup of raw honey (or more to taste) and about two cups of distilled water.
Barely heat over a double boiler to melt and emulsify the honey. The water and honey ratio is very individual. Some people like it without any water, and skip this step, adding the honey in the beginning of the process, with the vodka. (Raw honey has its own medicinal powers, and is not particularly detrimental, except for weakening the blood sugar regulating effects of cinnamon.) Some prefer a lighter liquor with half water/half vodka, and several cups of honey, which does make more liquor and is useful when giving multiple gifts. This is the way I made my last batch, which was perfect for the sweet tooths in my family over the holidays. Bonnie, Ellen’s consummate chef mom written about on Ellen Cooks blog, took this recipe and ran with it, adding orange zest and cardamom, so don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own. When that’s done, simply bottle it, put on a fancy label if that’s your thing, and voila!
It may be added to coffee, poured on top of ice cream, or used to spice up a cocktail. My favorite use for the liquor is to add it to very dark hot chocolate, sprinkled with a tiny pinch of cayenne. Nothing takes the winter chill off quicker, and it is quite the aphrodisiac to boot. Oh, did I mention? Cinnamon (along with chocolate and cayenne) is also an aphrodisiac, perfect for Valentine’s Day.