Cherry season will soon be here in Leelanau County so I thought I would share my recipe for Cherry Bounce! Cherry bounce is is a fruit coridal or liqueur, that is how it might be described today. Usually made with Rye Whisky or Brandy. I like Brandy in mine. It is good straight up or I like to mix it with some muddled mint leaves and a lot of sparkling water to make a nice light summer drink.
The recipe below also makes a batch of Brandied Cherries, sort of my own concoction. This recipe is from one of my favorite authors William Woys Weaver… check him out on the web. He has written amazing cook books and has now started selling seeds from his collection of heriloom plants. He is truly doing some important work by saving seeds from the past. You can read about him and order seeds here.
Cherry Bounce – Original recipe from “Sauerkraut Yankees” by William Woys Weaver
This also makes a recipe of Brandied cherries
Put 6 pounds of ripe Morello cherries and 6 pounds of large oxheart cherries in a wooden tub and mash them with a hammer until all the pits are broken. Add 3 pounds of white sugar to the cherries, and put them in a stone jug or large bottle. Add 2 gallons of the best double-distilled whiskey, and shake the bounce every day for the first month. At the end of 3 months, draw the bounce off into bottles. The longer it stands, the better it becomes.
A few notes….
Morello cherries I interpret as tart or sour pie cherries. and Large oxheart as large black sweet cherries. If you want to make brandied cherries in addition to bounce do not mash the cherries with a hammer as instructed. But instead carefully pit the cherries. Take the pits and put them in a heavy cloth and mash those with a hammer. You can add them to the bounce by tying them snuggly and securely into a cheese cloth and soaking them with the cherries and brandy. The pits impart a lovely bitter almond flavor. Or skip that step if you want to adhere to USDA warnings about cyanide, there are very small amounts of cyanide in cherry pits and other tree fruit seeds.
I once did an experiment with all kinds of spirits in this recipe. I decided I like brandy the best. I don’t like it made with whisky or vodka or gin. I find Brandy to be a warm liquor and takes fruit well.
To make Brandied cherries: After 3 months you strain the bounce and put the liquid in bottles or jars. Take the cherries and put them in a heavy sugar syrup. I did not officially can my cherries. I figured with the brandy and the sugar they would be ok and so far down in my cellar they are. But you might want to can yours. This recipe for brandied cherries is based on my own experimenting. There are more official recipes for making brandied cherries. You might want to compare my recipe to some others.
Pitting cherries can be messy work as this photo illustrates. I like to use a plain hair pin stuck into a cork for pitting cherries which is what is happening in the photo below.
Sugar Syrup for Brandied Cherries
4-1/2 pounds sugar
3 cups water
Juice of one lemon
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, lemon juice. Stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil for at least a minute, allow to cool to room temp and then pour over cherries.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you have questions please post a comment below!
—Thanks, Susan Odom