Homemade Cherry Bounce

cherry bounceFrom New York to Michigan to Oregon, cherry season is in full swing, and back in Martha Washington’s day that meant it was time to mix up a batch of homemade cherry bounce—the first First Lady even documented her own version on husband George’s stationary. Fortunately, that tradition lives on today, and now’s the perfect time to make a batch yourself. An infusion of fresh cherries, sugar and spirit (typically brandy, whiskey or rum), cherry bounce offers a delicious taste of summer. And cocktail consultant Todd Appel has just the recipe. Appel updated the colonial classic to fuse plump, ripe cherries with rye whiskey and cane sugar for a taste of the season that’ll last long after the last leaves fall from the cherry trees.

1 ½ quarts (6 cups) whole cherries (sour cherries work best, but any mix of fresh cherries will work)
1 quart rye whiskey
2 cups cane sugar (if using non-sour cherries, reduce to 1 cup of sugar and add 2 ounces of fresh lemon juice)

In a large saucepan, combine the cherries and sugar (and lemon juice, if using) and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.

Pour cooled cherry mixture into a large glass jar and add the rye whiskey. Secure the lid, shake to combine and let rest in a cool, dark place for 3 months.

After 3 months, strain into a clean glass jar. If desired, reserve infused cherries for garnishing. The bounce will keep for up to 2 months.

Todd Appel, Piranha Bros. Cocktail Consulting