Cherry Bounce is an easy thing to make: just mix together equal parts cherries and rum or brandy and then add sugar. Let sit for 3-6 months, drain, press and bottle. Cherry Bounce originated in Frithsden, England, which is apparently known for delicious black cherries and, naturally, has a festival for said cherries each year.
Neighboring Michigan is also known for its cherries, and I am sure there are cherry festivals there each year as well. With those Michigan Cherries, I make a version of Cherry Bounce each year that I call Brandied Cherries. Brandied Cherries are basically the same thing as Cherry Bounce, only I leave the cherries whole and if you let the jar sit in the basement for a few years, they are pretty damn delicious, if dangerous, to eat by the fistful. Especially during a snowstorm when there is no way you’ll be driving or interacting with humans until the city gets dug out and so, who cares if you are gobbling up fistfuls of boozy cherries.
And it is because I want to eat the macerated cherries during a future snowstorm I am sure will come, that my bounce of choice is rhubarb. Also, because I always want to buy rhubarb but then I never know what to do with it at home, since I can’t really make a rhubarb crisp for one and I don’t need more crap in my freezer, even if it is delicious rhubarb crisp.
I did make pickled rhubarb last year, which was delicious with goat cheese but still ends up a bit mushy and stringy at the same time. Most of it I ended up whizzing in the Vitamix and spreading on toast with soft goat cheese and bitter greens. It was delicious but not what I was going for so I have to futz with that recipe to get it right and I haven’t felt like it yet this year.
I make rhubarb bounce by chopping and blanching the stems. Seriously, blanch the stems only briefly and then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. You want to preserve the rhubarb color but you don’t want to get rid of the crisp acid of the raw vegetable. Then, I shove it into a gallon canning jar and let it sit until Thanksgiving.
This year, I might, since Rhubarb Bounce is basically Rhubarbcello for those following along, make Creamy Rhubarbcello with my Rhubarb Bounce. I love, love, love Creamy Limoncello and since I like Rhubarb Bounce, I might as well see if creamy-ing it makes it ever so much more delicious.