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Cherry Bounce

Close up of cherry jam


1 pound cherries
3 cups sugar
4 cups spirit of choice (we love vodka or whisky)


Pierce each cherry with a knife in one or two places to allow the booze to soak in.

Combine the sugar and 1 cup of liquor in a glass half gallon jar. Shake or stir well to dissolve as much of the sugar as you can. Now add the fruit and shake again before adding the remaining liquor.

Store the mixture in a sunny indoor spot for one week, then move it into a cabinet or closet for at least 40 days. After that, the bounce will keep indefinitely stored at a moderate, even temperature.

When you’re ready to use it, strain the cherries from the bounce and pour the clean juice into a 1-quart glass jar. Set the cherries aside for use as garnishes in cocktails, or serve them with ice cream (just not to kids!).

Start simple with this recipe, and in future years tweak your recipe to play with other ingredients like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.


Cherry bounce is best served with a story, so next year start a new tradition by picking fresh Door County cherries in late July during pick-your-own season. Then get a friend to join you in making a variety of bounce flavors and jarring them for use around the holidays. Vodka will keep the cherry flavor front and center, whisky is perfect for a winter warmer, and many people love to use Goldschlager or Fireball to add extra kick to their bounce.

The cherries themselves make a great snack, and the juice can be served in a wide variety of ways. Sip it neat, pour it over ice cream, add a splash to cocktails as a sweetener, or pour it over pound cake.

While some recipes call for pitting the cherries and mashing the juice out, we’ll keep the pits in for this recipe. This helps the cherries hold their shape so we can use them as garnishes in Manhattans and old fashioned cocktails.