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The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment

The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Like magic, Jemmy’€™s eyelids floated up. He smiled dreamily at Roger.

“€œHallo, Daddy.”€ Still smiling beatifically, his eyes closed and he relaxed into utter limpness, cheek flattened against his father’™s knee.

“€œHe’™s all right,” Roger told her.€

“Well, good,”€ she said, not particularly mollified. “€œWhat do you think they’€™ve been drinking? Beer?”
Roger leaned forward and sniffed at his offspring’€™s red-stained lips.

€œ”Cherry Bounce, at a guess. There’€™s a vat of it, round by the barn.”€

“€œHoly God!” She’€™d never drunk Cherry Bounce, but Mrs. Bug had told her how to make it:  “€œTak’€™ the juice of a bushel o’€™ cherries, dissolve twenty-four pound o’€™ sugar ower it, then ye put it into a forty-gallon cask and fill it up wi’€™ whisky.”€

“€œHe’€™s all right.”€ Roger patted her arm. “œIs that Germain over there?”€

“It is.”€ She leaned over to check, but Germain was peacefully asleep, also smiling.  “That Cherry Bounce must be good stuff.”

Roger laughed.

“It’s terrible.  Like industrial-strength cough syrup.  I will say it makes ye very cheerful, though.”

Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Chapter 6, Ambush)

With a review like that, how could you not give Cherry Bounce a go?

But since one should never drink alone, I’ve roped a few Outlander friends into joining me.  We’ve each made a batch and plan to let it brew for 6 months — which should take us right to Hogmanay.

Will you join us?  Start a small batch now, and then open it with us on the big day.  We’ll toast the Fraser Clan and Auld Lang Syne, and wish each other the best for the New Year!


We started with the same basic recipe, but each of us have gone with a different base booze, depending on what we found at the back of the liquor cabinet (and in some cases in the back of our parent’s liquor cabinet — we’re talking from the early 80s here people.)

Because make no mistake, Jamie didn’t hand over a cask of the 5 YO whisky to Mrs. Bug for the Bounce.  No way — it was raw spirit — the kind of stuff that I like to call Hooch.

Recipes like this are rough to begin with.  And when you break them down as far as we’re about to, the quantities get even rougher.  But the fact of the matter is that we’re aiming for cough syrup and starting with hooch.  There’s a little wiggle room.

I chose to go with less sugar rather than more.  Apparently George Washington liked his Bounce extra sweet, but I’ll take his wooden dentures as a sign to try a different path.

(Click on the link below for a printable version of the recipe.)

The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment

Take the juice of a bushel of cherries, dissolve 24 lb of sugar over it, then ye put it in a 40 gallon cask and fill it with whisky.  (Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Chapter 6, Ambush)

This was my first reduction to the recipe:

Bushel=32 Quarts

Sour Cherries – 1 Quart – 2 lbs
Sugar – ¾ lb – 1 ½ Cups
Whisky, Brandy, Vodka – 1 Gallon

Sour cherries are what Bounce was originally made with.  I don’t have fresh sour cherries on my little island, so I used the deepest-reddest cherries I could find.

Below are 2 slightly different variations of my final reduction, depending on what type of cherries you can find.

Sour Cherries, stems removed – 1 lb
Sugar – 1/3 Cup
Whisky, Brandy, Vodka – 1 Quart


Deep Red Cherries, stems removed – 1 lb
Sugar – ¼ Cup
Juice & Zest of 1 Lemon
Whisky, Brandy, Vodka – 1 Quart

Put the cherries, pits and all, into a 2 quart (or larger) jar and pour the sugar, and lemon zest and juice over the cherries.  Stir to dissolve.  Add the hooch, stir well and cover with the lid.

Store in a cool dark place for between 3 to 6 months before cracking it open.  Sláinte!

cherry bounce

These are my 2 little hoochie babies.  I went with Grants and fresh cherries for one batch, and when I found a jar of sour cherries in light syrup gathering dust on our rather small grocery store’s shelves, I returned to the liquor store and asked for the Hoochiest Hooch they could give me.  The answer?  Alberta Rye.

How right they are.


Next up, Alylene combined 2 bottles donated by her man, and then with the patience of a saint, and the help of a wooden spoon handle, shoved the cherries and all into a JD bottle.  Love the picture!


Then came Lior, who found the coolest jar by far.  We’re all coveting it, especially the $5 price tag she found it at.  I don’t know how much she paid for the McIvor’s but I hope it wasn’t much more than the jar.


Rose chose the “upscale” route with her bottle of JD, but we won’t hold it against her.


And last is Lori, who has the best bottle of booze, plucked from the back of her parent’s liquor cabinet.  A great use of a 30+ year old bottle of booze that hasn’t seen the light of day in almost as many years.

Will you take a chance and join The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment?  We’d love to have you along for the ride!  We’ll figure out how to share our Bounce time together on Hogmanay as we go…but in the meantime, post a picture of your batch on the Outlander Kitchen Facebook page, and we’ll get the party started now!


  1. Lior
    July 17, 2012 at 1:43 am

    haha thanks OK!! the McIvors Whisky was $14…when i asked for the cheapest tasting whisky around…this is what they gave me…at the Polish liquor store 😉
    Looking forward to taste testing this in a few months!

    • shanti
      November 18, 2014 at 2:08 am

      Just to let you know, that Washington never had wooden dentures. He had many different sets, they just discoloured, so maybe that’s why people think so. All the books are full of these kind of inconsistencies.
      Greetings Shanti

  2. Karin Thomas
    July 17, 2012 at 7:01 am

    I’ve got most of a bottle of whipped cream flavored vodka languishing in my cabinet and cherries are on sale this week at the grocery, so I’m in!

    • Lisa
      December 18, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      That sounds like a winner to me!

  3. Ruth
    July 17, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I’d pitch in myself, except that I think I’d end up drinking the entire batch on my own – which might be a disaster (but interesting)! Love the pics, though!

    • Theresa
      July 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      Live a little, Ruth! LOL (Just kidding)

  4. sunshineyness
    July 17, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Oh good lord I’m getting a nasty hangover just LOOKING at the recipe for this!

    • Theresa
      July 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      But that is only a virtual hangover, sunshineyness! Don’t you want to have the REAL experience? 😉

  5. The Suzzzz
    July 17, 2012 at 10:06 am

    If I drank I would totally do this, sounds like a fund experiment.

    • Theresa
      July 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      We’ll let you know how it tastes, Suzzzz!

  6. Denise Twist
    July 17, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Living in the Cherry City (capital of Oregon) I am surrounded by cherries and right now they are oh, so delicious and cheap! I couldn’t resist this challenge and opted for the “hoochiest hooch” I could find. I felt like I was cheating on the lovely bottles of Scotch on the top shelves and had to guiltily avert my eyes toward the lower rungs of whisky society. $7.30 provided a bottle of Potter’s Whiskey.

    Whew! I took a small sip and it about knocked my socks off. The label didn’t say what was in it, just 20% blended whiskey and 80% grain spirits.

    Bring on Hogmanay, I say!

  7. deniz
    July 19, 2012 at 6:06 am

    This sounds like so much fun! 3 to 6 months!! I should get some ready in time for Christmas…

  8. Bri
    July 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Yay!! I love your liquor posts! Count me in for the Great Cherry Bounce Experiment, we don’t have any hooch in the house at the moment, but I’ll pick some up this weekend!

  9. Laura
    July 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I’ll have to get the ‘exact’ recipe my mom used, but I’ve got a mason jar already waiting! I’ll save some of it to join in the celebration—have been thinking about adding most of it to a batch of summertime sangria.

    I know she used vodka and a lot of sugar. A few Christmas ago she sent me the dried cherries. She’d pitted them before adding them to the hooch so at the end of the process she strained them and dried them. I used them in all kinds of dishes where you might use raisins or dried cranberries. I used the last of them about a month ago in the first strawberry-rhubarb pie this season.

    Another wonderful way to preserve the season’s bounty! With Bounce!

  10. Anita Boelke
    July 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    posted a picture of my batch of Cherry Bounce on the outlander kitchen fb page….

    • Theresa
      July 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Got it, Anita! Thanks for the pic, and we’re glad you joined the party!

  11. Tessa Chandler
    July 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Just found an old bottle of french brandy in the back of the pantry, looks like I’ll be starting my own experiment sooner than planned!

    • Theresa
      July 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      Excellent! There’s no better use for old brandy…LOL

  12. The Mom Chef
    July 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    For some reason your Outlander stuff isn’t showing up on my Facebook page. I’m going to have to go backwards and have fun catching now. I can’t join in the batch of excitement, but hope I will be able to for another!

    • Theresa
      July 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks for remembering OK, Mom Chef! 😀

  13. Victoria
    July 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I had some time today and while listening to “Voyager”, made a batch. I went for less sugar too – 1/2 lb. red cherries, 1/6 c. sugar and 2 cups 2Gingers whiskey (a local import that I like to support). Marked the date made and 3 & 6 mos. out. Up is the cupboard it went. Hope I don’t get cherry cough syrup.

    • Theresa
      August 2, 2012 at 7:01 am

      That’s fantastic, Victoria! Welcome to the party. Your choice of whisky sounds like you may get something better than hooch!

    • Victoria
      August 2, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Thanks Theresa! I hope so. Love the word “hooch.” It’s been in the cupboard since the 24th of July. I’m trying not to check it everyday, and I’ve been good. Might break down just to see if the color has changed yet.

  14. Susanne Behrmann
    August 5, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Ha, this sounds fun!
    So I’ll have to get up early one of these (vacation) days to go to the market and get some cherries – and then have a look what’s been gathering dusk in the back of my row of liquor bottles…

  15. Annika Åstradsson
    August 7, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Hello all! I decided to join you and have made a batch and taken a (in my opinion) tasty photo. Who do I send it to so you get it on the page? And by the way, wonderful project!


    • Theresa
      August 7, 2012 at 7:03 am

      Welcome aboard, Annika! I sent you an email — you can reply to that with your photo attached…this is going to be some party!

  16. Ashley
    August 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    This sounds like fun!!! I’m using moonshine, and not the kind you buy in stores 🙂 Thank heavens for living in the mountains! Can’t wait to try this!!!!

  17. Keri
    August 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Made a double batch using vodka and Flathead Cherries July 18th. Had to sneak a taste last night and nearly coughed up a lung. My husband is so excited he bought a cheap bottle of brandy that we are starting this weekend so we can do a side by side comparison.

    • Theresa
      August 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

      I’ve got a bad and a slightly better batch going to, Keri…only a few months more to wait!

  18. Catelyn
    August 12, 2012 at 9:30 am

    My hubby and I made a small batch of this last night using blueberries and cherries. (I had more blueberries than cherries). I didn’t realize this was what I was making until I started looking through the old Outlander kitchen posts. I had originally intended to just try to make something new–didn’t remember reading about it in the books! I look forward to see everyone’s results!

    • Theresa
      August 14, 2012 at 9:46 am

      I can’t wait to hear what your “melange” is like, Catelyn!

  19. Ginger
    August 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I hope this thread is still active. Does anyone know what makes the smoothest, best tasting Cherry Bounce? I’d hate to buy an expensive liquor and the end result taste wonky. What makes it taste like cough syrup? That would be nasty, unless I had a cough…. hack. hack…. 🙂

    • Theresa
      August 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Ginger! I’m sorry I can’t answer your question for sure — this is my first time. LOL

      As I said in the post, I would not spend a lot of money on the base liquor…it’s meant to be on the hoochy side of things (cheap booze). Vodka may be a good choice — it’s relatively taste free, so it should combine well with the sugar and cherries. The more sugar you put in, the more like cough syrup it will be. (I think) 😀

    • Victoria
      August 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      I had to see if any of our concoctions will resemble cough syrup so I searched online for homemade cough syrups. Here’s the best link I found – a variety of recipes, some with only honey and lemon, some with herbs and one (#3) with cherries. All see different enough from what we are trying to make. Well one can hope. Hope everyone can see this link – it is to a Facebook page.

    • Theresa
      August 14, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Interesting research, Victoria! And it gives us hope for our hooch, right? 😀

    • Denise
      September 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

      I always use whiskey.

    • Juanita
      December 19, 2014 at 11:25 am

      We experienced some of the tastiest homemade cherry, apple and grape “hooch” imaginable. On a visit to Ukraine we were given about a quart as a gift and doled it out like liquid gold with about a shot apiece each night to make it last. Their recipe was simple: one liter of mashed fresh fruit (like sour cherries, concord grapes, mulberries, etc.), one liter of vodka (with a high alcohol content suggested/they actually used a homemade moonshine with a kick like a mule), and a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of sugar. Three to six months in my first batch made with sour, Door County cherries was still pretty rough. One year in it was getting really good and at somewhere during the second year it had matured to perfection. I have a feeling that your sugar may be on the low side to end up with what you want. Maybe try a second batch for comparison with more sugar. My sister made a batch with blueberries with less sugar and we could barely drink it until she added more and let it percolate a bit longer.

  20. Marina
    August 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I’d love to join in, and I have a wonderful old cherry tree, but right now we are in the dark depths of winter…. so I will watch with great interest and get some ideas for starting in 6 months, cheers!

  21. Debbie
    August 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Off to the liquor store now.

  22. tchan773
    August 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I skimmed through the comments to see if anyone else brought this up and didn’t see anything. After getting all excited about starting my own batch of cherry bounce I asked to see if I could borrow a glass jar from my Dad and then told him what I was planning. He gave me a wary parental eye and started asking about the chances of this growing mold or becoming a biological experiment. So now that that’s in my head I was wondering if anyone has encountered this or had thought about the chances of the drink becoming dangerous as it “ages.”

    • Theresa
      August 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      As long as the fruit you start with is mould free, the alcohol content will prevent any bacteria growth. That’s why Claire uses alcohol to clean wounds and sterilise instruments.

    • Debbie
      September 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks for that answer, I was wondering the same thing

    • Denise
      September 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

      I love the books…have read them a couple times. My dad would make cherry bounce and all of the family loved it. One year when he strained the fruit pulp off, he gave it a toss in the field out back of his house and then could not figure out why the birds were flying into his patio doors! They were drunk. He also made peach bounce which was yummy.

    • Theresa
      September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      You’re the second person to tell me about peach bounce, Denise! That sounds truly delicious!

  23. Kelly
    August 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I picked the cherrys fromthe back yard, pitted them,,because I will use them for muffins and such afterwards….I made 2 batches,,,one with Teachers,,and one with Bells…I canna wait for dec…

  24. Anne Rogetsin
    September 8, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    So excited to be joining the experiment! Am working 1000 miles away from home, so this will be a fun project. Thanks!

    • Theresa
      September 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      Welcome to the party, Anne!

  25. Victoria
    October 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    It’s been 3 months and I’m sharing a “bump” with a select group of my teacher colleagues tomorrow night at 8:15pm after parent conferences. These folks are whisky lovers too. (Keeping half of it for another 3 months.) Will report back. Anyone else tired their batch? Results?

    • Theresa
      October 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

      I may have a wee nip this week, Victoria…great minds think alike!

    • Victoria
      October 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      It didn’t taste like cough medicine! Whew! Cherry flavor was in front of the whiskey, not too sweet. My colleagues liked it. Served them 2 shots and saved half for a 6 month tasting. I didn’t strain it this time but will for round two. I think one colleague is going to try this too.

      Theresa, did you taste your batch? If so, tell us your thoughts.

    • Theresa
      October 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      My thoughts are coming tomorrow! It’s a verra special day here at OK… 😉

  26. Mydnyte
    December 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Does this help take the edge of bitter drinks? If so, I may give it a try. I bought a bottle of “Midnight Moon” Moonshine and it’s quite possibly the most bitter whiskey I’ve ever purchased.

  27. Lisa your
    January 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I loved reading about the experiment. I am sorry I am late hearing about it but it has encouraged me to try it myself

  28. Viviana
    January 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Theresa! I would like to try your Cherry Bounce recipe (and have it ready for our winter). We are now in mid summer and fresh cherries can be found (really expensive, but if you think it’s worth it…..). I read your Hogmanay comments about the experiment’s result, and not crushing the berries, so I would appreciate it very much if you could publish your up-to-date recommended version of Cherry Bounce. Another question: What is your “quart” equivalence in liters?

    • Theresa
      January 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Viviana! You can follow my directions in the original recipe here:

      The only change I would make is to NOT crush the cherries…simply wash them, put them in the jar and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

      A number of us tasted our bounce 3 or 4 months in to test it. I added another teaspoon of sugar to each of my batches.

      Good luck with it…and send us a picture!

    • Viviana
      January 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you very much Theresa!! I couldn’t get cherries in the supermarket this week (they’re rare here), but if/when I do get them, i’ll try and let you know about it. Thanks!

    • Chelsea T.
      November 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Theresa, why not mash the cherries? Otherwise, aren’t you just pickling the fruit, not fully infusing the alcohol? The picture shows a masher and the book says the Juice of cherries, not whole ones.

    • Theresa
      November 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      There`s no reason why you can’t! I’ve done it both ways, and found absolutely no difference between the batches. Over the course of 3 to 6 months, the fruit breaks down sufficiently to make mashing at the start of the process moot. If you decide to mash, then wear an apron and maybe take the whole dang mess outside to avoid a big clean-up job on your countertops and backsplash. Good luck with it! 🙂

  29. Suzanne Simpson
    April 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve made mead before… Honey, cinnamon, cloves and oranges… gonna try the Cherry Bounce for the Starz Premier… looking forward to it ALL.

  30. Leigh Ann Gombac
    April 27, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I’ve read through the thread, how was the taste 6 mo out? Thinking I should give this a try.

    • Theresa
      April 28, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Pretty much everyone I heard from over the years has loved their Bounce, Leigh Ann. Check the Recipe Index under Drinks for all of OK’s Cherry Bounce posts. You’ll see what I mean.

    • Shannon
      May 5, 2014 at 10:16 am

      I put up 2 batches of cherry bounce this past weekend – one with whiskey & one with whipped cream vodka. I used Trader Joe’s dark red cherries (in a jar) because that was what was available & quite cheap, I might add. I made homemade vanilla a while back & had to give it a shake/swirl every day or so. Do we need to mix the bounce as it ages? I am hoping to use it in 3 months for the Outlander premier on Starz. When should I start tasting to see if it needs more sugar? Now I just need to buy some mangoes to make tropical bounce!

    • Shannon
      August 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Quick Update: I took both batches to watch the premiere of Outlander with my sisters. They both came out very tasty! I was able to drink either without any mixers or water. I prefer the one with the whisky, but that’s just me. I tried making mango bounce with frozen mangoes – not good. The mangoes just weren’t high quality enough. I think I’ll stick to cherries & berries from here on out. 🙂

  31. scherrie gregoire
    May 25, 2014 at 5:57 am

    been making pretty much the same thing for years and give it as gifts , in smaller bottles at Christmas.. only I use kumquats.. but I think my next batch will be with cherries. I just call mine the recipe,,, got it from a little old lady who does the same as me, gives it as gifts

    • Theresa
      May 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Infused booze, of any sort, makes a great present!

  32. Tima M
    May 28, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Is it all 3 spirits to make a gallon, or a choice of one of them? Thanks!

    • Theresa
      May 29, 2014 at 9:29 am

      That would be some batch of moonshine if you mixed them! No, Tima…it’s your choice of one of them. 🙂

  33. Cathleen Nardo
    June 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I am from Louisiana and am making it using a recipe from an old cookbook from Lafayette. This recipe calls for mixing the cherries with the sugar in a crock and letting it sit covered with a cloth for 2 weeks, stirring every other day. Then you add bourbon, put in a jar and let infuse. I’m into the second week with the cherries and they have released their juices and the sugar is melting and they smell like they’re fermenting. I’m just going to keep going and see what I get.

    Anybody else hear of a recipe like this?

    • Theresa
      June 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      That sounds like an interesting technique! I`m very much into experiments in the kitchen, especially booze, but I recommend you check the cherries carefully for mould before adding the bourbon. Let us know how it turns out!

    • Tamra Robertson
      July 6, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      I have a similar recipie that was passed down in my family for several generations. It calls for 2 gallons of very ripe cherries and 4 1/2 to 5 lbs of sugar, depending on how sweet the cherries are, 6 sticks of cinnimon broken and 3 vanilla beans. You are to crush the fruit on a 5 gallon crock and stir in the sugar vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks. Cover the crock and place in a cool dry place for about 2 weeks or untold allnof the sugar has liquified. Then you pour 2 gallons of grain alcohol or brandy in, ( I use brandy) give it a stir and let it sit undesturbed for 6 months. Strain through cheese cloth and story in jars. I’ve been helping with or making this cordial since I was a child. I give pint mason jars of this for gifts. It’s delightful!

  34. Anna Mary
    July 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I have two questions about the cherry bounce. Do you need a glass jar or can it be plastic? Do you crush the cherries a little or just put them in whole?

    Can’t wait to try this!!

    Thanks so much!
    Anna Mary

    • Theresa
      July 3, 2014 at 11:01 am

      You can use plastic, Anna Mary…I`m just not a huge fan of the stuff, so I used glass. As for crushing, it`s not necessary, and messy.

  35. Leslie Rayle
    July 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I must say I am so excited to have stumbled across this site! My mom-in-law used to make cherry bounce for over 35 years and finally passed the recipe down to me right before she passed away. So now my husband and I make it every year. This year we are going to try peaches see how that works. Tried vodka and didn’t like as much as the whiskey. So glad I found you and as your Facebook site!

    • Amy
      August 31, 2014 at 10:34 am

      I’m going to try peach this year too!! Did you do anything different or not let the batch sit as long? I can’t find much on peach bounce. 🙂

    • Theresa
      August 31, 2014 at 11:02 am

      Enjoy the process, Amy — no need to do anything different.

  36. Janet Fitzpatrick
    July 11, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Hi Theresa, I have just started my first ever batch of Cherry Bounce using fresh cherries and scotch whiskey. In Australia the standard liquor bottle size is 700ml… Which is roughly 7/10ths of a quart. So to make a batch in Australia or other metric countries, the quantities are:
    320gm red cherries
    700 ml whisky/bourbon etc
    1 lemon
    Just under 1/4 metric cup sugar

    Hope it works … At least I will have a batch before the end of the TV series. Maybe I can do a final toast on the last episode.

    • Theresa
      July 11, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Thanks for the conversion, Janet! As long as you’re in the ballpark with the amounts, it will turn out just fine. I’m actually Canadian, so I should probably be working in metric too. Lol

  37. Liz-RedApron
    July 12, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Turned out so well last year, that I decided to double the batch this year using Grant’s. I have save a wee bit from last year to toast the Premiere and the new batch will toast the new year! Thanks so much for all you do!

  38. mrschef
    July 18, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I live in the Florida Keys. Do you have any suggestions for a “cool dark place”?

    • Theresa
      July 20, 2014 at 10:42 am

      You can always use the fridge if you don’t have a storm or root cellar…I’ve never lived in that part of the continent, but maybe you could ask friends or neighbours what they would do?

  39. Jacque Watkins
    July 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Made my first ever batches, first one is Rainier cherries and Grant’s Scotch. Second one is Bing cherries and Jeffers Creek bourbon. Third is Bing cherries and White Horse Scotch. They look great. Going to the farmers market and get some Fredericksburg peaches for the next batch. Thinking Gin for that one. Having fun.

  40. Kathy
    August 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I am really late to this party. The premier 2 days away and I didn’t prepare any Cherry Bounce ahead of time. Is there anything I can make as a substitute the night of party? Sweet cherry juice and whiskey?

  41. Priscilla
    August 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I’m late to the party, but I had planned to start my Bounce last year. I don’t like Cherry flavor and I do have a prolific Blackberry bush… so I’m making Blackberry Bounce. I am using 2 different Whiskeys… Bird Dog Blackberry (about $20) and Five Star American Blended (about $7). I had about 2.5 pounds of blackberries frozen from last year. I have a 3 qt jar I found at Hobby Lobby (50% off so about $7). And since I had extra berries and because I like things extra sweet, I used 1 cup of sugar. (I put the blackberries in a mesh bag so no straining later). Now to hide this in the basement for the next 6 months and maybe it will be ready just in time for the start of Season Two! LOL!!

  42. Melissa
    August 17, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I’m in on the gulf coast, so a definition of a “cool” would be helpful. Not sure about the fridge. I’d love to do a cherry & a blackberry for Christmas gifts. Thanks!

    • Theresa
      August 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

      I’m not on the Gulf coast, so I’m unfamiliar with what it’s like. But if you don’t have a basement or root cellar where it’s cool and dark, then the fridge is probably your best bet…at least until the outside temperature drops to winter temps.

  43. Rhonda Baker
    August 18, 2014 at 11:20 am

    When I moved to Virginia a friend had an orchard of old cherry trees on his 200 year old plantation. Every year he picked cherrys, brought in pounds and pounds of sugar and gallons of bourbon. It was wonderful. When he died his recipe, sadly, went with him.

    • Theresa
      August 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Oh, that is very sad, indeed!

  44. Kelly
    August 19, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I would love to try doing this! My husband loves cherries and I love the idea of making something like this myself so, I will gather the ingredients, and I will find a nice hooch to use, probably not as nice as the 1783 I saw but, it will be a good one, none-the-less, and I’ll look forward to the end result! 😉

    • Theresa
      August 19, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Enjoy the process, Kelly! It’s fun. 😀

  45. Trudy
    August 19, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    My German friends do something similar. …a rumtopf….for every cup of fruit you put in…you put a cup of sugar. You use the first fruits….when peaches are in use them…plums the same….raspberry or cherry or whatever….then you cover all with 151 proof rum….hence the name. You have it over ice cream or cake…or just drink it

    • Theresa
      August 19, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      That sounds like something I’d like!

    • Gubbelhexe
      December 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Rumtopf is also used for Rum-Punch or added to tea in winter. The amount of sugar is variable, not everybody ads that much…
      For Christmas time many families here have a special Rumtopf to which a cinnamon stick and a vanilla bean was added.

  46. melissa
    August 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I don’t drink alcohol but i just put together a jar this evening. I also have oats soaking in water tonight for the other drink. They both sound so good that i have to give them a taste!

    • Theresa
      August 27, 2014 at 10:56 am

      I’m glad you’re giving it a try, Melissa! We love it around here.

  47. Amy
    August 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Getting my things together for peach and cherry bounce!!! I’ve done other libations…so VERY excited about this, thank you for posting and for this site, Theresa! 🙂

  48. Kelly Green
    September 14, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Ok. I’ve made a small batch with an old bottle of Hennessy. i dint know about using cognac, but we will see. I wish I could find our collection of Grandma’s hundred year old mason jars to keep it in, but an old mayonnaise jar will have to do for now.

  49. Gail MacArthur
    September 15, 2014 at 9:30 am

    As an extreem late comer to the Great Cherry Bounce Experiment I missed the abundance of cherries available here recently. I’m wondering if anyone has tried frozen cherries?

    • Theresa
      September 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

      I’ve tried both frozen and canned sour cherries with success. Go on, start a batch! 🙂

    • Gail MacArthur
      September 16, 2014 at 8:53 am

      My first batch is brewing, can’t wait to try some!

  50. Heather
    September 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I just got my 3rd and 4th batch going – though for the first round I did one batch with cherries and one with blueberries. Both were awesome. This time, I’m taking a chance with some mixed berries (blueberry and strawberry) that have been sitting in the freezer too long. Adding a bit more sugar to make up for that, and we’ll see!

  51. Anna Mary
    September 27, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I want to try peach bounce but have no idea where to start other than buy peaches!! Can someone give me a recipe so I can give this a whirl??
    Thanks so much!

    • Theresa
      September 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Replace the cherries with peaches

  52. Kelly Green
    September 29, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I had a taste of the cognac batch I started last month. Oh, my! It goes down nicely. My mother has suggested making a chocolate cake at Thanksgiving, drizzling it with the CB, and saving it until Christmas. I was thinking a chocolate pound cake, but if you have a better suggestion, I’d love to hear about it.

  53. Laurie
    October 11, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Just tasted cherry bounce at a beer only, blues road house. Owner made it with moonshine.delish. came across this site looking for a recipe…. Thanks for the info.

  54. Gail MacArthur
    October 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    My cherry bounce has been sitting for about 4 weeks. Do I need to do anything to it?

    • Theresa
      October 15, 2014 at 9:15 am

      Nope! I would wait until about week 12, then do a taste test.

  55. Cheryl
    December 19, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Alberta Rye – yep pretty rough stuff.
    My sister-in-law used to make Crabapple Bounce, same idea but it took a bit more sugar.
    Can’t wait to hear how this turned out.

  56. Gail MacArthur
    December 26, 2014 at 11:34 am

    My Cherry Bounce has passed the 12 week point and I don’t think I can wait any longer! It tastes wonderful to me, but this is my first attempt so I’m not sure what it’s supposed to taste like. I’ve been talking about this for months and the guests coming for New Year’s Eve (they’ve never heard of Hogmanay) are expecting something special to toast in the new year. I’m guessing it needs to be strained through cheese cloth, bottled and chilled?

  57. Amy Box
    December 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Just transferred mine to a HUGE mason jar I found – SO excited! Had started it in Sept, hoping it will be ready in March. During the transfer, the Hubby ate a couple of the cherries – said they were pretty “whisky-ey”, so I added a bit more sugar. Can’t wait! 🙂

  58. mardi
    December 30, 2014 at 3:21 am

    cherries here in NZ are currently $28.00 a Kilo, but they are huge and sweet, so will be going with a smaller quantity, but definitely making this one. have loved reading everyone’s comments and all the varieties that are being made, Thanks Theresa, for your continued efforts ..

  59. mardi
    December 31, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Well, I bought Grants for the CB, but after slicing a few of the cherries into a glass of Gin n Tonic, and seeing the lovely pink colour, have changed to gin for my CB. It will be a trial waiting for the required time to allow for infusion, but worth it I think… 🙂

  60. Rhonda Powers
    February 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I made cranberry cordial several years ago – the same principle using rum as the base. I ran across some sour cherries in water (canned) the other day and can’t wait to try my hand at CB. I’m thinking I’ll get to the liquor store for some hoochy-hooch this weekend.

  61. Cat
    April 22, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Theresa!! Do you know how long CB will last?? We make a big batch (Your recipe – with credit to you) for Everything Outlander retreats…..for the first retreat – we whiped it out (folks were sucking on cherries at the bottom of the batch)! After this retreat (April), though, I have quite a bit left – I started it in December. I have another new batch started for the next retreat in August. I was wondering how long the batch that I started in December would last? Thanks for any feedback!! I LOVE Cherry Bounce!

    • Theresa
      April 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

      although the taste seems to degrade slightly over time after about 3 months…only the chef would notice. I`ve got some 18 mo old CB in my cupboard, and I just took a wee taste and it`s fine.

    • Cat
      April 27, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Perfect!! Thanks!

    • Anna Mary
      April 27, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      I have had mine for about 7 months and it actually seems to bet better with age!!

  62. mardi priest
    May 21, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    yay, am heading to a KiwiOutlander gathering on sunday night and am taking my Cherry Bounce version (with gin) to share. Haven’t been game to try it yet, but its about 3 months old so should be good. might have to have a bit of tonic with it ..? am also going to make some Athol Brose tonight, and take that as well, as I really like it and am sure the others will as well, especially if they haven’t tried it yet….

  63. Amy Box
    May 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    It’s done – and looks fantastic! I can’t keep The Hubby out of the cherries (saved and thoroughly enjoying). Waiting for sour cherries to come out so I can make a batch with those!

  64. Carlla
    May 24, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I know I am late in the game but just put up my first Cherry Bounce! (5/24/2015)
    1 pound of fresh dark red cherries, pitted
    1 fresh lemon, juiced w/zest
    1/2 cup raw sugar
    1 quart Bacardi Rum (it was what was in the cupboard)
    I plan to stir mine occasionally. It should be ready for Thanksgiving in November 2015!

  65. Mardi P
    May 25, 2015 at 3:52 am

    ok, took my Cherry Bounce along to Gathering on Sunday, as well as Atholl Brose. the Cherry Bounce was a bit much until I put a little of the ginger ale (with whisky) in the glass, major improvement.. I would agree with Roger’s comment “tastes like industrial strength cough mixture, but would make you very cheerful”.
    – will leave it bottled for a bit more and see how it goes. As said elsewhere, the AB is a different story, was very well received. definitely going to be my party trick in future.. Yumm.

  66. Joanie
    May 30, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Just put some Cherry Bounce in the closet. I used dark red cherries and Smirnoff vodka, half of which was vanilla vodka. Let you know in 3 months how it’s doing. 🙂

  67. Mark
    June 6, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    So, had this page saved for awhile…making a batch tomorrow with the recipe!

  68. DLFrazer
    June 10, 2015 at 10:34 am

    The Washington Post had an article on making Cherry Bounce today. I am a big Outlander fan and saw all your postings for Cherry Bounce recipe as well. I have bought fresh Cherries today and can’t wait to get started with my brew!

  69. Jean F
    June 20, 2015 at 11:16 am

    seci d batch of Cherry Bounce going in the jar today! Fresh picked sour cherries, lemon zest, buckwheat honey and Canadian Club!

  70. Kate Kikel
    June 30, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Thanks for this! We just started some with sour cherries because they are in season now. I split them in half and tried a small batch using vodka and one using cheap bourbon. I told my 7yo and my 4yo they may NOT have any. 🙂

  71. Jodi T
    July 7, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    so…procured some lovely fresh cherries and am in a state of mind to make some Bounce! Oh I like the idea of using honey instead of sugar OR I have a bottle of Evan Williams Honey Reserves(my favorite sipping beverage at the moment)Thinking of NOT adding any extra sugar. Thoughts?

    • Theresa
      July 7, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      Without a sweetener, it’s infused booze, not bounce. You need a bit to enhance the flavour.

    • Jodi T
      July 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Fabulous! Thanks! Can’t wait! Will be adding raw honey!

    • Jodi T
      July 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Ok so my choice is a $10 bottle of Philadelphia Blended Whisky (made in KY), raw off the comb honey, lemon and Washington State cherries (sweet) can’t wait to get it going!

  72. Leah
    July 16, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Sour cherry bounce made with E & J brandy and 6 hours of family effort pitting the cherries. I am imagining using those boozy cherries someday over vanilla ice cream. The bounce already tastes great!

    • Jodi T
      July 17, 2015 at 5:26 am

      OOH! Vanilla ice cream and boozy cherries! Dream come true!

  73. Jimbeau
    July 21, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Forget all that peeling, pitting, and mashing . Just put a couple of major holes in the de-stemed cherries, mix well the sugar and selected booze and pour over fruit . Set in sunny room for a week, then put it in the closet for about 40 days or more . It will get darker as it sets. Strain liquid from fruit, let it settle and pour gently into a clean jar excluding any sediment. Voila ! Cherry Bounce that will last indefinitely , or until you’re ready to sip.

  74. Penny Cameron
    August 30, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Yay Ladies! I started reading this last year when it was WAY past fruit season. I now have, sitting on my sunny counter, 10 lbs of the loveliest, sweetest black cherries and this year, they will become cherry bounce! Thank you for all your suggestions! You are in-spirit-ational!

  75. Jim Sprada
    August 31, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Polish vodka and sweet Washington cherries still standing on the shelf awaiting my 75th Christmas and my first try at the same Cherry Bounce my Dad made every year before he passed away . He left no recipe so I was glad I found yours . The ingredients are the same so I’m hoping it will be the same as his, though I was told he had some sort of “secret ingredient.”

    • Jim Sprada
      February 1, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Well, I opened the 2 quart bottle I made in August at Christmas and after straining, letting it settle, etc. I tasted it and it nearly made me choke , not from the alcohol,but from the bitter taste . I don’t know what happened, but even when I diluted it with additional vodka, it was too bitter to drink. Any advice ?

    • Theresa
      February 1, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Did you try adding extra sugar as explained in the recipe?

    • Jim Sprada
      February 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks for the reply, Theresa. I added the extra sugar per your advice. It made the Bounce a lot sweeter but not very good . I think next cherry season I’ll give it another try, but I’ll use bourbon instead of vodka .
      Still hopeful .

  76. Shannon Bryans
    September 21, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I loved my cherry bounce so much last year, both on it’s own & in sangria, that I have started a new batch to be ready for the next season of Outlander. Thanks for your inspiration & recipes that help me get involved in Outlander on a whole other plane. :o)

  77. Nancy M
    October 19, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I’ve been making cherry brandy for some time.. Sour cherries muddled with a cup of sugar and fill a half gallon canning jar with e & j brandy and wait… Today some Facebook friends suggested I try the Bounce! 2 cups sour cherries 1 cup sugar 2 cups Knudsen tart cherry juice I bottle of Jack Daniels Single barrel.. Tastes fantastic 5 seconds after to shake it up! Use good ingredients and you get a happy ending!

  78. Jen
    January 31, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Friends from the Buffalo, NY area first gave me the cherry bounce recipe, which they put into a 5 gallon water bottle. I went to a couple of local diners and asked for any left over 1 gallon pickle jars. Wash them well and seal the caps with some plastic wrap or sandwich bags. I live in central New England and if you look real hard you can find sour cherries in late May, early June. After the sugar dissolves the jars get placed in the cellar until Thanksgiving.

    While waiting for winters end I take the “used” cherries and fill the gallon jar (s) about one-third full of fruit, one and one-half cups of sugar and then filled with Old Crow. After the sugar dissolves, back to the cellar until Memorial Day, or Fourth of July, depending on your level of patience.

  79. HefJeff
    February 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    In my opinion, Cherry Bounce can be made two ways:
    1.) Add freshly pressed cherry JUICE and a little sourwood honey to plain corn whiskey moonshine. Enjoy right away!
    2.) Follow the traditional recipe for how Lemoncello is made, except use cherries instead of lemon zest. This takes at least 60 days to complete.

    Info that follows is from the website I found on the infamous Amos Owens at:

    “Owens’ “bounce” formula was a generous portion of his finest corn whiskey, with a few dashes of sourwood honey, and cherry juice added. The juice, so it was said, having been trod from the cherries by the bare feet of his beautiful daughters.”

    That says cherry juice with a little sourwood honey was added to moonshine. There is no mention of an additional fermentation or resting process. It is already a flavored alcohol mix by design.

    However, here is how the Junior Service League of Johnson City, Tennessee, described “Cherry Bounce” in its compilation of east Tennessee recipes, Smoky Mountain Magic:

    1. “To one gallon of white spirits (aka Moonshine) put two quarts of water and five to six quarts of wild cherries.
    2. Wash cherries and put in jug with alcohol 9I think they should be bashed a bit, not whole). Corn cob stopper in jug.
    3. After they stand three months, drain off liquor and strain it well, sometimes twice.
    4. Make a thick syrup with one and one-half pounds white sugar and water and boil until ropy (aka simple syrup).
    5. Add the syrup to liquor from jug to taste.”

    On the website it also says: “…with a few dashes of sourwood honey, and cherry juice added. The juice, so it was said, having been trod from the cherries by the bare feet of his beautiful daughters.”

    Therefore, in my humble opinion, the cherries should be mashed up a bit while in the alcohol, not used whole.

    Also, in the Lemoncello recipe, the lemon-infused alcohol with simple syrup mixture added is then allowed to “rest” for 30 days before straining again into smaller bottles. Stored in the frig, it lasts 6 months to a year.

  80. Rebecca Starr
    February 23, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    My husband’s family has made cherry bounce for many years. They have had a summer home in west Michigan for over 100 years. The area has thousands of acres of cherry orchards. Our recipe is : 4 quarts of tart cherries, pitted, 4 cups of sugar and 1 750ml bottle of grain alcohol.(Name brand Everclear it is 190 proof) We use a clean 1 gallon wine jug with a screw cap. Cherry season is usually around the 4th of July there and we traditionally have our first taste Christmas eve. We do not mash the cherries but the jug is shaken gently every day for the first week or so then periodically (once a month or so) until Christmas.

    • Theresa
      February 24, 2016 at 5:37 am

      Interesting! Thank you for sharing!

    • HefJeff
      February 24, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Currently (2/23/2016), on the TV show “Moonshiners”, Josh and Jim Tom are making a batch of Appalachian Cherry Bounce based on a family recipe. Josh is a descendant of Amos Owens.

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