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Cheers! Do you know about cherry bounce?

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The ingredients for a spin on the Singapore Sling that Tammy named the Michigan Sling.

It’s hard to keep up with all the new distilleries in Michigan. There are so many around the state. But, that’s not the half of it. These inventive distillers keep coming out with new spins on spirits and different kinds of things to mix with them.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Tammy Coxen of Tammy's Tastings shaking things up.

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings was about to spring a new one on me. She had a bottle from Mammoth Distilling from the small town of Central Lake. The label said “cherry bounce.”

Never heard of it.

“The way I know to make it is you take some cherries when they're in season, nice Michigan tart cherries. And you soak them in rye whiskey and some sugar and then you put them away and you let them sit until Christmas. And then you open it up at Christmas and share out little cordial glasses of this with all your friends and family. Maybe bigger glasses,” Tammy said with a smile.

She was going to use the cherry bounce as a substitute for Cherry Heering in a recipe.

“I've really liked Cherry Heering. It's an important ingredient in some classic cocktails. But on its own, it's heavy. It's thick. Just doesn't taste very good. Where the cherry bounce had the things that I like about Cherry Heering and none of the things that I didn't like,” she said.

What she planned to make was a spin on the Singapore Sling which she is calling a Michigan Sling.

“There are a lot of different recipes for Singapore's Slings that go around. This is a version from David Wondrich. He's a cocktail historian and author. And he went back to newspaper clippings from Singapore in 1913 and earlier and was looking around, trying to find the origins of the Singapore Sling and what the original recipe would've included. Because it's totally changed. And so this is his take from those articles about the original,” said Tammy.

Except, she was using the cherry bounce. She was using a unique gin from New Holland Spirits called Knickerbocker. And she was not using lime juice, but instead she had a lemon.

It worked. Singapore Slings, when made right, are really good. This is among the best.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio

Michigan Sling

1 oz Knickerbocker gin

1 oz Mammoth Distilling Cherry Bounce

1 oz Benedictine

1 oz lemon juice

1 dash Angostura bitters

1-ish oz club soda

Garnish: 1 dash Angostura bitters

Combine all except club soda in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into tall glass. Add club soda, then fill with ice. Add a little extra club soda if you need to fill up the glass. Garnish with a splash of bitters on top.

(Tammy adaptation of David Wondrich recipe for classic Singapore Sling)

Tammy Coxen and Lester Graham are the authors of Cheers to Michigan: A Celebration of Cocktail Culture and Craft Distillers from the University of Michigan Press. The book is based on the Cheers! episodes heard on Michigan Radio.

Want to support reporting like this? Consider making a gift to Michigan Radio today.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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