Legend has it that the cherry bounce, a drink popular in the southern United States, was one of George Washington’s favorite tipples. It was originally made with brandy, but you can also use bourbon, vodka, dark rum, or (as here) white rum, which lets the fruit’s natural color shine through. The cherry-infused spirit needs to sit for at least a week and up to one month before being chilled and served ice-cold.

Martha Stewart Living, July/August 2019


Credit: Mikkel Vang

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 15 mins
Makes 2 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce 2 to 3 holes in each fresh cherry, then place in a large crock or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in rum and stir to combine, pressing lightly on cherries to release some juices. Cover jar and let stand in a cool, dark place at least 1 week and up to 1 month.

  • Strain mixture, discarding solids; pour liquid into a resealable jar or bottle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 6 months. Serve chilled, over ice, with frozen cherries.

Cook's Notes

This recipe contains no sugar, but if you prefer a sweeter drink, add up to 1/4 cup demerara sugar to the strained bounce; stir to dissolve before bottling.