Homemade cherry bounce. Bourbon and bing cherries aged a little over a year. It was fannnnntastic.

So I found out the cherrybounce has some historical significance in Raleigh. I pulled the story from

It was a hot, sticky day in July of 1761 and the Hunter family was having another family get together. Theophilius Hunter was just granted 584 acres of land and that was something to celebrate! Of course, Theophilius’ famous Cherry Bounce was involved, as it always was, and his son Isaac was finally allowed to join in the festivities with the older gentlemen. (This was an alcoholic beverage that had been in the family for many generations. No one but the Hunter family had access to this particular recipe.) See, Isaac recently turned 16 a few months back and his mother told him, once he turned 16, he could act as a man. He was always pretty perturbed by this deal because he’d been working like an adult since he turned 14. Didn’t being a chain-bearer at such a young age make him a man? For Pete’s sake, he was an assistant to the land surveyor and previously took the legal oath of honesty required for his job. He had to be very precise when handling the measuring chain, but still no one took him seriously. Isaac was the youngest of 4 and he was tired of everyone treating him like it. As his father’s only son, he was determined to prove everyone wrong and make something of himself.

Isaac continued to work hard and his father soon began to realize how much potential he had. In March of the following year, Theophilius deeded all of his land to his son, who graciously accepted. Isaac had so many hopes and dreams, and now that he had the support from his family that he always wanted, nothing could stop him! He worked from sun up to sun down over the next few years and established a working plantation and continued to acquire large tracts of land. His plantation stretched from Old Wake Forest Rd. all the way to Crabtree Creek. Isaac Hunter no longer had anyone questioning his ambition and his mother was graciously making him Cherry Bounce at this point.

Even though he was a successful landowner, Isaac wanted more. He had always dreamed of owning a tavern and on February 28th, 1762, his dream came true. He received a license to open a tavern from the Johnston County Courthouse. He opened up one of the first taverns in the Southeast, calling his spot Isaac Hunter’s Tavern.

Over the next few years, Isaac lived in the tavern and he lived comfortably with business from people traveling along the road. He offered southern hospitality to his customers, always offering good homecookin’, a buzz from the famous Cherry Bounce, and a place to rest their heads. One little lady couldn’t resist Isaac’s southern hospitality, stayed one night at the tavern, and never left. He tied the knot in June of 1770 and a year later, the county of Wake was established.

Hunter and his first wife had four children, but they also had irreconcilable differences. She left him and the tavern a few years after they said their “I do’s.” The split only seemed to affect Hunter briefly because he seemed to be pretty popular with the ladies. Five years later, he was married again. This wasn’t the only popularity contest Hunter would likely win. His tavern was quickly becoming the hot spot for people in this area of North Carolina. After sitting alongside the major travel artery for two decades, his tavern had earned a fine reputation. Popular political figures in NC at the time started becoming regulars at Hunter’s tavern. Hunter’s tavern became such a highly respected place to these men that in 1788, the North Carolina Constitutional Convention met there and decided the new state capital could be built no more than 10 miles away. During the meeting, Hunter offered to sell his land for the capital of North Carolina. He also offered the men a place to stay and plenty of Cherry Bounce. Hunter apologized and departed early for the night, because his wife was ill. The members and Hunter’s friend, Joel Lane stayed up, drinking, carrying on, and discussing plans for the new capital.

It seems Joel Lane didn’t have Isaac Hunter’s best interest in mind the night he walked into the tavern. He served up round after round of Hunters’ family’s famous Cherry Bounce and swayed the legislators to buy property from him, rather than Hunter. The sweet cherry drink Isaac Hunter longed for when he was younger ended up hurting him in the end.

Joel Lane sold one thousand acres of his Wake County property for $2,756 to provide a site for North Carolina’s permanent capital, Raleigh. Though Isaac Hunter felt betrayed, he ultimately forgave Lane and was still excited to be a name in the history of Raleigh, NC. He knew his father would be proud, despite the misuse of the famous family Cherry Bounce.