Juniper Berries – 25g


Used in a Finnish beer called Sahti and in many beers styles including Christmas ales. Juniper berries also provide the main flavouring for gin.


Juniper Berries – 25g

Essential if making your own gin. You cannot call it gin without using juniper berries.

Used to good effect lightly crushed and added to flavour casseroles, marinades, stuffings and complement pork, venison, beef and duck. They can also be used in sweet dishes such as fruitcakes.

If you want to understand gin, it’s important to get to know juniper. We would compare it to understanding the influence of casks for whisky fans, or dilution of ice for bartenders.

Juniper is such an important aspect of gin that quite literally, it is not only the primary botanical used in gin but by law, it needs to be the predominant flavour in anything seeking to be classified as gin. The aroma and taste of juniper is the signature note in any gin, both on the nose and on the palate. Even the name Gin itself is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean juniper

While juniper occurs in patches in England and throughout most of Scotland, it is only really common in the Highlands. Two subspecies can be found in Scotland, of which the erect, shrubby form is most widespread. In the UK, few plants grow taller than 5 meters but in other countries, it has been known to grow up to 10m high.

In the Highlands, juniper is more abundant in the drier, Eastern part of the country. Interestingly for you horticulturists out there, the bark is brown on young plants but turns grey as it gets older. The flavour profile of young, green berries is dominated by pinene and as they mature this piney, resinous character is joined by greener citric notes.

The outer scales of the berries are relatively flavourless, so the berries are almost always at least lightly crushed before being used as a spice. This matters less with making gin as the alcohol will permeate through the skin relatively easily regardless. Juniper berries are primarily used dried as opposed to fresh in gin production, but their flavour and odour are at their strongest immediately after harvest and decline during the drying process and subsequent storage.

Juniper’s use in alcoholic drinks and the use of its wood’s smoke are drawn together neatly in the tales of illicit Highland whisky stills hidden away in the glens, which used juniper wood for fuel so that the near absence of smoke would not attract the suspicions of the local excise man. Juniper berries are still used by certain whisky distillers to sweeten the still during the first distillation of a new still, although it is now widely acknowledged that this is more ritualistic than for flavouring.

Additional information

Weight 0.05 kg


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Juniper Berries – 25g