Back in August we gathered chokecherries and used them to infuse some local rum to make old fashioned cordial called Cherry Bounce. Now that it's December and the cherries have been soaking away in alcohol for the last four months, the Cherry Bounce should be ready. Here's what it looked like when I brought it up from the basement, where it had been sitting on a cool, dark shelf:
It's hard to tell in this photo, but the liquid is now a totally dark black-purple--the color of black raspberry juice, but barely translucent at all. I set up the bowl with the handle from the stand mixer with a mesh strainer on top to catch all the little chokecherries:
I was a little surprised at how dark the liquid was when I poured out the first jar. The dregs were even a little thick looking. The chokecherries now look soft, and their skins are no longer shiny:
I tasted a chokecherry first, and they are definitely spent: totally tasteless, and certainly nowhere near as tart as when we picked them.
Once I strained all four mason jars, I put the chokecherries in the compost bucket and funneled the Cherry Bounce back into its original bottle, which I saved for the purpose:
But wait, there's more! Do you notice that there's way more Cherry Bounce than will fit back into the bottle of rum? There's about 16 extra ounces in that mason jar. The original recipe called for an extra cup of the water that the cherries soaked in, but that means there's still an additional extra cup of liquid here. It must be the juice of the all the chokecherries that is now part of the drink.
Anyway, I had my doubts about this stuff back in September. I tasted it when it was just a couple weeks old, and I think at that point it could charitably be described as NyQuil-esque. I wasn't holding my breath that this would be any good.
I am happy to report that Cherry Bounce is delightful. It is sweet without being syrupy, and the flavor is of real cherries, so it's not at all like cough medicine. There's also a hint of almond flavor, which must come from the oils in all those tiny chokecherry pits that finally were absorbed into the alcohol.
I can see how unsuspecting ladies and greedy bosom friends could get drunk on this very quickly, since you really cannot taste the alcohol at all. It will be delicious but dangerous on its own in a small cordial glass as it was traditionally served during the long, New England winters. I am thinking ahead to spring, though, when it should be outstanding in a cherry mojito when we have mint again.