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Cherry Bounce

Drink, Recipes

Sara Bir embraces this cherry bounce recipe, a cross between a cordial and a liqueur. The base liquor will influence the flavor — rum and brandy are her favorites — which complements the darker notes of the wild cherries. You can sip the cocktail neat, on ice, or mix it in cocktails for a locavore’s Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Bir adds it to fruitcake batter and pitchers of sangria.

Black Cherry Bounce | Makes 1 quart
Recipe courtesy of Sara Bir

4 cups black cherries (or Bing cherries)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups rum, brandy, whiskey, bourbon or vodka

Stem and pick out any debris from the cherries before rinsing them. Mash them with your fingers in a big bowl (wear an apron; it’s messy). Transfer the mixture (including the pits) into a large jar. Add the sugar and stir. Let the jar sit for an hour or so, until the sugar dissolves a bit and the mixture is a loose muck. Add the booze of your choice, cover with a lid, and steep in a sunny spot for 10 days. Then move the jar to a dark, cool spot and age 1 month. The color should deepen during this time. When the bounce has reached the intensity you like, pour it through a cheesecloth-lined strainer (save the solids for making cherry balsamic vinegar, or just discard them). Pour into a sterilized bottle for storage. The cherry bounce will keep indefinitely in a cool, dark cabinet.