Somewhere in blogland, I stumbled across a link to Gourmet magazine’s favorite cocktails. Each month they share a new decade. As I looked the through sixties, I discovered something intriguing called Cherry Bounce. A brand new idea to me, but a very old one to most everyone else, apparently. I mean, Martha Washington was brewing this up for pre-United States parties. How awesome would it be, I thought to myself, to be able to pull out a bottle of my own cordial. So of course I had to make it.
Four pounds of cherries and some stained fingers later, I present to you, my bottle of Cherry Bounce (minus a few drinks). It’s spicy, strong, and smooth and I definitely want to make some more. I think more skilled bounce-makers than I could extract more juice from the cherries, but this was a learning experience, and I’m just happy it came out drinkable.
This recipe definitely calls for a cherry pitter, and I loved the one I got from Oxo. If you make this yourself, wear an apron. Cherries are very juicy and splatter when you pit them. I thought pitting the cherries would take forever, but I finished that part quite quickly. It was cooking the cherries until “very soft” that actually took the most time. The best part of this? Once you’ve mixed everything together and bottled it, you can drink up right away. No waiting weeks or months for this recipe to reach peak flavor. Which is good, when patience isn’t your greatest virtue.
Cherry Bounce from Gourmet
Stone 4 pounds Bing cherries and cook them in a double boiler until they are very soft. Strain the juice and measure it. For each quart of juice add 2 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon each of ground mace and ground allspice. Simmer the mixture, skimming it frequently, until the scum ceases to rise. Cool the syrup and measure it. For each quart of syrup add 1 cup each of brandy and rum. Store the cordial in bottles. Serve the cherry bounce as an after-dinner liqueur.