Monday, February 6, 2012

Cherry Bounce 26 Weeks Later

Household Private Reserve

Last August, our first sojourn was made into the land of Cherry Bounce. The backstory is that we took 50+ pounds of pie cherries and made gallons upon gallons of cordial.

The trick to a good cordial is to not make it too sweet, and let it sit for months and months while the flavors magically develop. Made in July, we popped it open just before Christmas and were happy to find it to be incredible. It doesn't taste like cherry candy - instead it tastes just like fresh cherries. You can't buy this stuff in stores, and it goes down waaaaay to easily.

Brave Little Soldiers, Ready to Fight on the side of Alcoholism!
We were working over a steaming stove until midnight on Christmas Eve to get it all bottled and sealed in time for the family get together the next day, as everyone was getting Bounce for presents. Cute 4oz bottles - Check. Corks - Check. Labels - Check. Ribbon - Check. Sealing Wax - Check (after a long and arduous treck to every beer shop in the area!). Of course, we were bolstered along by generous libations from our own private reserve.

Left to Right: Bourbon, Brandy, Rum, Vodka

Here's the verdict on the different flavors:

Spices: The spiced versions came out too strong, and definitely tasted better as boozy cherries than in the cordials proper. I've gone back to revise the original recipe and cut way down on the amount of spices.

Vodka: The clear winner. The bounce is a gorgeous bright cherry red and has that fresh-picked cherry taste. This produced the least interesting boozy cherries. All the color and flavor ended up in the cordial and these bland little pale gobs of fruit were left over.

Rum: Lots of folks liked the rum, but it remided me of cherry cough syrup. If I do it again, I'll use spiced rum and half the amount of sugar. The Boozy cherries are good but pretty tart, so don't work as well in mixed drinks. They're great over ice cream.

Brandy: Lovely, complex and a bit spicy. This was my second favorite as it had a good spice-sweet-tart balance. It's a very dark red cordial, and works well with just a drop of spice in it. It's very a very Christmasey taste. These boozy cherries were definitely the best; rich and flavorful.

Bourbon: I thought I would love this more but it really just tastes like cherry flavored whiskey. It's okay, and the boozey cherries are okay, but at the end of the day it was kinda meh unless you're crazy for cherry flavored bourbon.

Next year we're going to make MASSIVE AMOUNTS of bounce and try other flavors too: peach, blackberry, blueberry, the list goes on. Tart fruits taste best, so we have high hopes for the plum and blackberry versions.


  1. I'm really surprised that the vodka was the winner - I agree it produces such a clear, bright red, but for some reason I don't think the vodka kind goes down as well (but maybe I tried it on an off day or with a unique batch).

  2. We found that the Vodka was the bounce that tasted the most like fresh, tart cherries. The others needed more like a year to age.

    Do you you sweet or tart cherries? How long did you let it age?

  3. I've looked up tons of cherry bounce web pages and yours is great with the pictures and reviews of the finished products. I would like to try out your methods but it looks like your post with the recipes is gone. Can you repost the directions? Thanks!

    1. Well.... Lexi's distillery now makes Cherry Bounce professionally and the recipe has become proprietary. I'm sorry! You can google it and come up with loads of other recipes though. I'll give you a quick tip: use sour cherries, not sweet ones. They can be hard to find, but it makes all the difference.

    2. That explains it! What is the name of your distillery? I may want to buy a professional bottle some day to compare with my recipe ;)

  4. Stick with very drinkable Vodkas. I use Tito's for mine.

    1. As a [now] professional distiller, here's my 2 cents on the vodka question. Vodka is unflavored alcohol. For any infusion - like liqueurs - you don't have to use top shelf vodka. Get a good, clean base spirit (I like Svedka) and go from there. If you get the bottom shelf stuff (Monarch), run it through a brita filter a few times to clean it up. Not only does it work, but it's the EXACT same process that professionals use, only they have bigger filters.