The recipe for this cherry cordial that appears in Charleston Receipts tells us to “Go to Old Market in June and get a quart of wild cherries.” The cherries are the fruits of the black cherry tree, Prunus serotina, native to all of the eastern states and to New Mexico. About every four years, usually following a very wet spring, the trees, which grow best in moist, sandy soil, produce a bumper crop, their limbs heavy with fruit hanging down over country roads. These cherries have the distinctive wild cherry flavor most of us know only from cough drops.
Wash the cherries, drain them well, then put them in a wide-mouth quart jar. Add the sugar and gently shake the jar until the sugar is dispersed evenly. Set the jar, uncovered, aside in a cool place for the juice to draw, several days.
Add the whiskey to the jar, being sure to cover the cherries. Lightly cover the jar and allow to steep for 10 days. Strain the Cherry Bounce into a nice decanter and serve over ice cream or as an after-dinner liqueur.
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