Cherry Bounce is an easy homemade cherry liqueur (or maybe ‘moonshine’) with a long history and delicious flavor! Perfect for gifts too.
I originally discovered Cherry Bounce when considering how to use a batch of tart pie cherries I picked at the first of the summer many years ago.
There never seem to be as many as you think after several hours of picking.
Their short season made me want to stretch them out through the year.
I discovered this easy, delicious liquor infusion recipe. After reading about its long historical roots I had to make it.
Since originally making Cherry Bounce I’ve now made it many times for gifts too!
What is Cherry Bounce?
Cherry Bounce is a homemade cordial or liqueur. It’s made with a choice of vodka, bourbon, rum, brandy or whiskey as the main liquor.
Combined with sugar and pie cherries, it’s mixed together and shaken or stirred daily. Left to sit Cherry Bounce develops a wonderful flavor.
History of Cherry Bounce
This recipe was originally shared on BoulderLocavore.com to honor George Washington’s birthday. Cherry Bounce, a preserved liquor, dates back to his days.
Notes in the diary of Martha Washington referenced a recipe for making a large batch of Cherry Bounce using 20 pounds of cherries, cognac, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and crushed cherry stones (no wonder George wore wooden teeth).
Cherry Bounce was often made when cherries were ripe and timed to be ready at Christmas time.
This version is more simple but just as delicious as I’m sure there’s was!
Ingredients in this Cherry Bounce Recipe
This recipe uses:
- Pie Cherries
NOTE: to use the cherries after they have infused, pitting the cherries before making Cherry Bounce is advised.
Difference between Pie Cherries and Other Cherries
Pie cherries are tart instead of sweet like cherries you’d eat directly.
Their sour flavor requires more sugar but it preferred for baking and this infusion recipe.
Frozen Pie Cherries Can be Substituted
Finding fresh pie cherries can be difficult in stores. You-pick farms or Farmer’s Markets are the best bet in season.
Try a store like Whole Foods as well.
If they are not available frozen, thawed pie cherries can be substituted.
Making Cherry Bounce with Bourbon
I chose bourbon, feeling cherries and bourbon are like twins separated at birth; they belong together.
The smell of Cherry Bounce is like a Manhattan cocktail; heavenly.
Over time, the flavors blend together to make a not-overly-sweet-not-overly-boozy tasting liqueur.
The flavor reminds us of the deep Bourbon roots of our country’s South.
How to Make Cherry Bounce – Step by Step
For a detailed printable recipe refer to the recipe card at the end of the blog post.
- Place the fresh cherries and sugar in a glass jar with lid; mix.
- Add Bourbon; stir together.
- Seal the jar. Place in a cool dark place.
- Stir daily to dissolve the sugar.
- Allow to sit for 3 months. Strain into a clean jar when done.
Use the Infused Cherries!
Once the Cherry Bounce is done, be sure to use the liquor-soaked cherries!
They are great over ice cream, on other desserts or added to cocktails.
A Special Christmas Gift Idea
Cherry Bounce was often made and timed to be ready at Christmas time.
It’s delicious within a few weeks but better after a long aging.
Timing it for the Holidays
Make a master batch or smaller batches and plan for them to have at least 3 months to infuse.
A large batch can be divided between smaller, decorate bottles or in Mason jars.
It’s simple and affordable to make, but a more unique infusion.
Bourbon lovers and historians alike will appreciate a batch!
The boozy cherries are great on ice cream too.
More Drink Recipes You’ll Love
- Moscato Sangria: a Sparkling Wine Cocktail Punch
- Wassail: a Classic Holiday Drink
- Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka
- Homemade Coffee Liqueur: You’ll Never Buy It Again!
Three simple ingredients combine to sit making an irresistible cordial. It's delicious after a few weeks and more so after a few months which was the original method.
- ½ quart Bourbon
- 1 quart Tart/Pie Cherries (pitted if wanting to use the cherries too)
- 1 ½ cups Sugar
- Jar with lid
Place cherries and sugar in the jar and mix.
Add bourbon and stir together.
Seal the jar. Place in a dark warm place. Stir daily until sugar is dissolved. Allow to sit for 3 months.
Originally published: February 21, 2011