Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

Yorkers Liked to Drink Their Fruit

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve come across some interesting items while doing research for my presentation on York County agricultural history at York County Heritage Trust on Saturday, such as the Lewis Miller drawing above of Colonel George Spangler making Cherry Bounce in 1806.
York and Adams counties have has always produced exceptional fruit. Several varieties of apples, like the York Imperial, Hersh’s Seedling and Strinestown Pippin were developed here, as was the York Imperial cherry. What to do with all that fruit? You could store it for winter, bake it, and cook it.
You could also drink it. Many farms had huge cider presses. My ancestor, tavern keeper James Crosby of Windsor Township, had many gallons of peach and other fruit brandies, probably from his own trees, listed in his estate inventory in 1802.
Lewis Miller not only illustrated Spangler making Cherry Bounce, he also included the recipe:

“To a Barrel of Juice–put in to it Six pound of Sugar, and two gallon of whiskey, and–let the juice and Sugar boil in a large kitelle a half an hour and skim it.”
It sounds like you boil the juice and sugar separately, skim it and probably cool the mixture before adding the whiskey. That method seems to jibe with recipes I’ve found online. Anyone every tried it? It sounds like it might get stronger the longer it sits.