Cherry Bounce from Outlander

The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment

Like magic, Jemmy's eyelids floated up. He smiled dreamily at Roger.

"Hallo, Daddy." Still smiling beatifically, his eyes closed and he relaxed into utter limpness, cheek flattened against his father's knee.

"He's all right," Roger told her.

"Well, good," she said, not particularly mollified. "What do you think they've been drinking? Beer?" Roger leaned forward and sniffed at his offspring's red-stained lips.

"Cherry Bounce, at a guess. There's a vat of it, round by the barn."

"Holy God!" She'd never drunk Cherry Bounce, but Mrs. Bug had told her how to make it:  "Tak' 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."?

"He's all right." Roger patted her arm. "Is 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."

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.

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!

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.

Show/Hide Comments


17 Jul 2012 - 8:43am


haha thanks OK!! the McIvors Whisky was $14...when i asked for the cheapest tasting whisky around...this is what they gave the Polish liquor store ;-)nLooking forward to taste testing this in a few months!


Hi. 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

17 Jul 2012 - 2:01pm

Karin Thomas

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!

17 Jul 2012 - 3:00pm


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!


Live a little, Ruth! LOL (Just kidding)

17 Jul 2012 - 3:26pm


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


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

17 Jul 2012 - 5:06pm

The Suzzzz

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

17 Jul 2012 - 7:48pm

Denise Twist

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.nnWhew! 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. nnBring on Hogmanay, I say!

19 Jul 2012 - 1:06pm


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

20 Jul 2012 - 6:00pm


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!

21 Jul 2012 - 3:43pm


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. nnI 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.nnAnother wonderful way to preserve the season's bounty! With Bounce!

21 Jul 2012 - 8:39pm

Anita Boelke

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


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

21 Jul 2012 - 9:16pm

Tessa Chandler

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!

22 Jul 2012 - 1:43am

The Mom Chef

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!

24 Jul 2012 - 10:01pm


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.


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


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.

05 Aug 2012 - 8:24am

Susanne Behrmann

Ha, this sounds fun! nSo 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...

07 Aug 2012 - 10:59am

Annika stradsson

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!nnAnnika


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

10 Aug 2012 - 7:34pm


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!!!!

10 Aug 2012 - 7:35pm


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.


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

12 Aug 2012 - 4:30pm


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!


I can't wait to hear what your "melange" is like, Catelyn!

12 Aug 2012 - 7:42pm


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.... :)


Ginger! I'm sorry I can't answer your question for sure -- this is my first time. LOLnnAs I said in the post, I would not spend a lot of money on the base'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) :D


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.n


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


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.

14 Aug 2012 - 9:52pm


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!

16 Aug 2012 - 6:01pm


Off to the liquor store now.

23 Aug 2012 - 11:27pm


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."


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.


Thanks for that answer, I was wondering the same thing


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.


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

26 Aug 2012 - 10:54pm


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

08 Sep 2012 - 8:37pm

Anne Rogetsin

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

24 Oct 2012 - 2:41am


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?


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


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

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