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Cherry Bounce

Cherry Bounce 16.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

DIY Jun 10, 2015

This method works for just about any fruit, herb or vegetable, but cherry bounce has the benefit of historical significance, as it was one of George Washington’s favorite tipples.

Depending on the type of cherry you use, the flavor ranges from dessert-worthy sweet (Bing) to tart and refreshing (sour/tart varieties). You’ll need a half-gallon jar and a clean 1-quart jar. See fruit VARIATIONS, below.

Alter the liquor base to fit your taste. Vodka keeps the cherry flavor very true; rum adds sweetness and a tropical touch; cognac creates the taste of an intense cherry wine; bourbon or rye makes a smoky and fruity bounce.

The boozy-fruit byproduct can be reserved to serve over pound cake or ice cream.

Make Ahead: The fruit mixture needs to cure in a sunny indoor spot for 1 week, then in a dark place, such as a cabinet or closet, for 40 days. The strained bounce needs to sit for several hours before using. Stored at a moderate, even temperature, the bounce will keep indefinitely.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 16 servings; makes 1 quart

  • 1 pound cherries, stemmed (see headnote)
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups vodka, rum, cognac, bourbon, rye or grain alcohol (see headnote)

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Pierce each cherry with the tip of a knife in one or two places.

Combine the sugar and 1 cup of the liquor in the half-gallon jar; shake well to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. Add the fruit and shake again, then top with the remaining 3 cups of liquor. Shake gently to distribute the fruit.

Place the jar in a sunny indoor spot; let it sit for 1 week, then transfer it to a dark spot and let it sit for 40 days. The color of the bounce will darken/intensify.

Seat a strainer over a pitcher or container with a pour spout. Strain the cherry mixture; reserve or discard the fruit (see headnote). Cover the strained liquor and let it settle for a few hours, then pour the bounce into a clean 1-quart jar; do not include any sediment.

VARIATIONS: To make an apricot bounce, use cognac or vodka; bourbon is too strong for the fruit, which can be sweet or tart. Add a dozen sprigs of fresh thyme; chop the unpeeled apricots into chunks, discarding the pits, before infusing.

To make a peach bounce, choose bourbon -- not rum. Add a dozen coin-size slices of fresh ginger root. Peel and chop the peaches before infusing.

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Recipe Source

From Cathy Barrow, the author of “Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving” (W.W. Norton, 2014).

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 260

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 34g 11%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 34g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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