Our neighbor, Joan, told me she has wild cherry firewood for us from a tree she had cut down. We’ll sure enjoy the fragrant fires this winter.
When we were kids, there was a huge wild black cherry tree in our postage stamp size of a yard. Every summer the tree produced shiny, black, tiny berries. We’d feast, spitting out inedible pits.
It got me thinking about using wild cherries for cherry bounce, an old fashioned liqueur trending now. There’s several trees around here. The problem is they’d have to be seeded to make bounce, and that’s not only a real chore, but I can’t imagine how many tiny berries I’d have to pick to make a pound of pulp. Anyway, for now I’ll go with domestic cherries in season.
As always, with heirloom recipes, there’s a story worth sharing. My recipe is from dear friend and Kentucky reader, Ann Rudloff’s mother Mary, who’s probably making batches of bounce in heaven. “Good for what ails you, especially in winter,” Mary told me.
Cherry bounce is multi-purpose — a good medicinal since cherries are anti-inflammatory. Also a lovely cordial, or topping for ice cream and cake. Maybe you’d like to make cherry bounce, too. Just don’t imbibe too much at once — you may find yourself “bouncing” around!
Mary’s cherry bounce
Mary used rock crystal candy. Sugar works, too.
Cherries are usually left unpitted.
A reader told me last year she pitted the berries.“Easier to eat and use” she said. So do what you like.
This year I’ll make 2 batches: 1 with unpitted cherries and 1 with pitted. I’ll let you know if I find a difference in taste.
1 pound fresh dark cherries stemmed, unpitted or pitted
Enough rock candy (on stick or string) to make 12 oz.. or more, to taste OR 1-1/2 to 2 cups granulated sugar
1 bottle bourbon whiskey, 750 ml
Put cherries in glass jar. Pour sugar and whiskey over. Put lid on. Shake daily until sugar dissolves.
Let infuse 3-6 months. Remove sticks or strings from rock candy.
Store in pantry.
Great as a holiday cordial or as a topping for ice cream or cake.
Write on label that cherries have pits if applicable, and note that the pits are not edible.
How much to drink?
A couple of spoons as a medicinal, or in a cordial glass as a liqueur.
Tip: can’t find fresh dark cherries?
Use frozen, thawed cherries.
Cherry bounce with sour pie cherries
Use fresh, frozen, or canned packed in water, drained.
I’ve not made it yet, but plan on making it soon.
2 cups bourbon whiskey
4 cups tart pie cherries, pitted or not
1-1/2 cups sugar or 12 oz. rock crystal candy
Place cherries and sugar in a jar. Stir to mix.
Pour bourbon over. Seal and place in dark, warm place. Stir daily until sugar dissolves.
Let infuse 3 months or more.
Store in pantry.
Adapted slightly from boulderlocavore.com/Toni Dash.