Thursday, February 18, 2021


Cherry Bounce is a brandy based drink that was popular in the eighteenth century. George Washington packed a canteen of it along with Madeira and port when he traveled over the Allegheny Mountains in September 1784. Martha made it often for entertaining and it was one of her husband's favorite drinks. Make it now and it will be ready to have as an after dinner drink for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here is the recipe that was found among the papers of Martha Washington. 

“Extract the Juice of 20 pounds of well ripened Morrello Cherrys. Add to this 10 quarts of old French brandy and sweeten it with White Sugar to your taste—To 5 Gallons of this mixture add one ounce of Spice Such as Cinnamon, Cloves and Nutmegs of each an Equal quantity Slightly bruis’d and a pint and half of Cherry kernels that have been gently broken in a mortar—After the liquor has fermented let it Stand Close-Stoped for a month or Six weeks—then bottle it remembering to put a lump of Loaf Sugar into each bottle.” 

I could not find Morello cherries so I used the popular Bing cherries of the Pacific Northwest. Frozen dark sweet cherries, without added sugar, works really well when cherries are not in season.

1 lb pitted cherries or 1 lb bag pitted frozen cherries, cut in half
¾ to 1 cup pure cane sugar or granulated sugar 
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
¼ t freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1 large lemon, organic or carefully washed
4 cups brandy

Place cut up cherries in a large stainless steel saucepan.
Add the sugar, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice (without the seeds).
Throw in the lemon halves and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Reduce heat to low and slowly simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, cover, and let cool completely.

Pour the cherry mixture into a large (at least ½ gallon) clean glass container, fitted with a lid.
Add the brandy and set aside in a cool dark place for 4 to 6 weeks. 
Stir occasionally.
After 4 to 6 weeks, strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer and pour into clean decorative glass jars. Discard the cinnamon sticks and lemon halves.

Serve at room temperature in cordial or small sherry glasses.
Store the containers of Cherry Bounce in a cool dark place.

You can store the cherries in the refrigerator. The "tipsy" cherries can be served over ice cream or pound cake.

Here is a photo of a set of false teeth that belonged to President George Washington. They were not made of wood, as so many people think, but of gold, lead, ivory, human, and animal teeth.

No comments:

Post a Comment