Friday, July 17, 2009

Bounce Bounce ... a little patience tastes mighty fine.

I first heard of bounce from my partner in shenanigans, Amie Sell. One summer she brought home a flat of cherries from Stanleys produce market , and started gathering up mason jars and bottles of whiskey. It wasn't till i saw the whiskey did my pavlovian response give me cause to pay closer attention.
Her family'd been making it for years, pick the cherries, bottle it up with booze and sugar and wait till thanksgiving. Four months of waiting? Many thanks to Mexican beer and Pinot Gris, or I might never have made it through that hot Chicago summer.

The following year after moving back to the North West I thought I'd keep the tradition going by making my own Cherry Bounce. I got it all put up, hid it away in the back of my cupboard and waited till Thankgiving... When the time came I was so excited, I'd been talking about it for months... and when the unveiling came we all tasted, and well, my professionally trained big cheffy cheffy ass forgot one of the THREE ingredients! Sugar! But hey, it's still whiskey, so no harm no foul!
Then, after my most recent visit to New Orleans I saw Cherry Bounce on quite a few menu's. Cherry bounce is alive and well and puttin up it's heels in the South. Their penchant for sweet cocktails and sugary treats make New Orleans it a right fit. I decided I should educate myself a bit before I go running my mouth about my freinds family that invented this drink called Cherry Bounce.
Turns out Cherry Bounce is about as American as apple pie and wearing white socks with sandles. It was sited as being an integral component in the North Carolina Constitutional convention's consideration in establishing Raleigh as the State Capitol. George Washington carried a few bottles in his saddle bags. And, Capt Jon Ross while looking for the Northwest passage kept his little toes warm by drinking Cherry Bounce and not sharing with his crew. It's rumored that they attempted a mutiny over a bottle, but I'm sure they were pissed off about a few things. Even Miss Abigail Adams comented on Martha Washington's 'fine cherry bounce' served at the white house during a holiday affair.
And why you might ask should you care?

Given our most recent obbsession with heirloom tomatoes, heritage meats, and pre-prohibition cocktails it seems apro pos to reintroduce an American Icon steeped in history and very sustainable.


from 'Dishes and Beverages of the Old South'


rinse a clean empty whiskey barrel with cold water, fill with very ripe Morello cherries mixed with black wild cherries
one gallon wild to five gallon Morellos is about right.
strew throught the cherries, blade mace, whole cloves, allspice, very little bruised ginger and grated nutmeg.
add to the full barrell 20# of sugar, or half a pund to a gallon of fruit.

cover the fruit an inch deep with good corn whiskey, the older the milder the better
leave out the bung but cover the opening with lawn . (this is where bunghole comes from!! :))
let stand 6 months undisturbed in a dry airy place, rather warm
rack off into a clean barrel and let stand 6 months longer ( I think it means strain...)
then bottle or put in demijohns.
Improves greatly with age to the fifth year, after that the change is unappriciable.

This one one is geared for this century.

1# firm ripe cherries
2 cups sugar
1 fifth bourbon, or vodka

Start with a clean glass container with a tightfitting lid. You can sterilize by boiling or simply run them through the hot rinse cycle on your dishmachine with no soap.
stem the cherries but don't peel or pit (awesome!!)
drop them in the jug and cover with sugar, add the booze and seal er up.
turn the bottles daily to help sugar dissolve and keep in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.
When its reay it will be a little syrupy and super delicioous.
You can strain off the cherries and bottle it up or keep them in the cordial for sprinkling on ice cream.

Cherry Bounce is great as an addition to cocktails, drizzled over desserts drank as a cordial, and one of my favorites is a littl stir in my lipton tea on a cold winter night..

Here is my augmented recipes, one for Cherry and the other I used Japanese plums from the tree outside my house.

Plum 'Brandy"

1 qt plums (dont pit breal skins, it helps the sugar and the booze get in there)
1/2 cup yuzu marmelade
2 c sugar
3 qt citrus vodka (doesn't have to be citrus I just had some I wasn't drinking)
2 c sake
Same method as above.

The Lovely Miss Amie's Bounce

1 # cherries
2 1/2 cups turbino sugar (unprocessed)
1 inch piece vanilla bean
6 cardamom pods whole (broke open)
1 Tbsp whole coffe beans (broke up)
3 qt bourbon

same method as above.

Bounce on...

The jury is still out on what kinds of booze is best, some recipeis call for cheap bourbon which I gues is a great way to fortify cheap bourbon, other call out the good stuff which can get expensive. My advise is buy the best that is affordable for you. If yer broke grab a bottle of the cheap stuff, if your not get something that wont make you feel blasphemous for adding fruit and sugar to. And with vodka, I go for the good stuff, it's a neutral spirit. Experiment.Really you could use any berry or stonefruit adjusting the sugar to accomidate for the tartness of the fruit.