Make A Cherry Bounce — Raleigh’s Official Cocktail

For WALTER’s 10th Birthday, the mixologists at Foundation shared an updated recipe for our city’s most iconic drink.
by Catherine Currin | photography by Joe Pellegrino

Signature drinks live across the world: the Pimm’s Cup in London, New Orleans’ Sazerac, the Mint Julep in Kentucky. Here, it’s the Cherry Bounce, a boozy, sweet-yet-tart concoction made from preserved fruit that was a favorite at Isaac Hunter’s Tavern on Fayetteville Street in the late 1700s. Local lore says the Cherry Bounce may have been instrumental in the selection of Raleigh as our state capital city, as bartender Hunter served the potent beverage to commissioners on decision night.

Today, the team at Foundation uses the same technique as folks did 250 years ago — soaking cherries in liquor and sugar — to create a fruit-infused syrup that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed into a beverage. “The Cherry Bounce has a deep history here, and our patrons want to connect with that,” says Foundation bar manager Kyle Hankin. Foundation is known for its domestic-only product selection and focus on local ingredients — which makes it a great place to sip Raleigh’s unofficial-official cocktail. Here’s their recipe.

FOUNDATION’s Cherry Bounce Recipe


1 bottle of Quinn’s American Whiskey from Great Wagon Road Distillery in Charlotte, North Carolina

2 liters pitted North Carolina cherries 

1 liter brown sugar


Combine cherries and whiskey in a blender for about 1 minute. Pour mixture in a separate container and add in brown sugar. Let sit for 2-3 days, then strain out any of the solids. Bottle and enjoy. 

And For a Cherry Bounce Manhattan…


2 dashes aromatic bitters

3/4 ounce sweet vermouth

1/4 ounce Cherry Bounce

2 ounces Rye Whiskey

Orange twist 


Combine all ingredients into a glass or cocktail shaker. Stir for about 40 seconds and pour into your favorite cocktail glass. (Stir less if you’re serving it on the rocks!) Garnish it with an orange twist and enjoy.