Sara Essex Bradley
Earlier, we gave you ideas for cherry-infused cocktail recipes; now, we have one more recipe to add to the cherry bunch. While you can't find cherry bounce on liquor store shelves — not yet anyway — this colonial-era infusion is hot among haute cocktail bars, spotted at Chicago’s Nightwood, San Francisco’s Comstock Saloon, and Bar R’evolution in New Orleans. Dating back to Martha Washington's day, cherry bounce is made from fresh cherries steeped in sugar and brandy (though whiskey and rum can also be used).
According to bar manager John Lyons of Bar R’evolution in New Orleans, "Cherry bounce is a seasonal liqueur that goes along the same lines as our selection of other house-made fruit ratafias [or sweet cordials] at Bar R’evolution," he says. "It’s great for blending and smoothing out the ‘mid-range’ of a cocktail, the same way that bitters do. In this drink, we’re using just a dash or two of bounce to add fullness and depth, accentuating the rye without overpowering it." Click here for more cherry liquors and cocktail recipes.
Shake to chill, serve up in an eau de vie glass (for apéritifs). Garnish with a fresh cherry.
In a large saucepan, combine the cherries and sugar. Let simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour cooled cherry mixture into a large glass jar. Top with brandy or whiskey, and secure the lid. Shake well to combine, and let rest in a cool, dark place for about 3 months.