Chop up whichever form of ginger you are using. Then coarsely grind the spices in a mortar and pestle or old coffee grinder. You don't want dust, simply a coarse mixture like above.
Combine the sugar, water, ginger and spice mixture in a small saucepan. (The molasses will be added later) Bring mixture just to a gentle boil, turn heat to low and barely simmer 10 minutes. Don't boil the mixture, you're looking for just a hint of a simmer so you don't scorch the spices.
After the simmer time, turn the heat off, cover the pan and let the mixture cool and steep for 2 hours.
For my flavored syrups I like to repurpose an old vinegar bottle that has a small spout topper, but any bottle with a small opening at the top will do. A jar with a small opening keeps things neat and controlled when using the syrup!
If you used crystalized ginger, the ginger flavor will be more mellow. In that case, I like to pop a few whole slices of crystalized ginger in the bottle to keep the syrup peppy.
Here's where you'll add the molasses to taste. Molasses can be a real flavor bully, so add it to your syrup one tablespoon at a time and give it a taste as you go.
You can certainly use ground spices instead of whole. You'll just need to strain your finished syrup thru cheesecloth or a coffee filter (unless you're into spice sludge in the bottom of your cup).
However, if you use ground cinnamon instead of the whole sticks, do not add the ground cinnamon until the end! For some reason adding ground cinnamon to the syrup before you bring it to a boil creates a weird, gelatinous sludge. To avoid this, add the cinnamon after the syrup has cooled to lukewarm.
I use organic cane sugar when I make this, so the instructions will reflect that. If you like to use stevia or another low-glycemic sweetener simply sub that in as appropriate.
Don't have all the spices called for? Just use what you have and like!
Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth at www.thewildolive.org