Unusual Facts About Juniper Berries

Being the main botanicals used to distil gin, juniper berries are unusual, and not many people know that much about them. Your favourite craft gin contains juniper and, some of the best gin brands out there have refined their techniques over many years to bring out the best qualities of these berries to make top-selling gins. If you have not participated in a gin making class at a gin distillery, then here are a few unusual facts you may not know about Juniper Berries.

Cross-Continental

Juniper berries boast over 50 different species. Most of the common juniper used by a gin distillery today can be grown in four different continents, including North America, Europe, North Asia, and North Africa. While growth is currently abundant, these crops require close maintenance to ensure fungal diseases and other pests don’t spoil the berries.

They Don’t Really Taste Great

Ironically, a juniper berry itself does not taste great at all. They are bitter and hard with an intense flavour. If anything, try to add one or two to your next best gin cocktail as a garnish to boost the aroma and complement the flavours.

A Little Goes a Long Way

You don’t need that many juniper berries to make a litre of gin. With many people trying gin-making from home by ordering gin kits from popular craft gin companies, we have seen that you only need around 25g of the berries to make a litre of gin.

Medicinal Uses

Juniper oil was a popular treatment for kidney ailments and was used as a natural diuretic originally.

Gin Means Juniper

The word gin means juniper. Derived from either the French word genievre or the Dutch word jenever, both translate to juniper.

Great as a Cure for Meats & Fish

The aromatic, dark and intense flavour profile that juniper berries possess can cure red meats and fish. By crushing the berries with salt, you can cure your chosen meat or make marmalade with the berries to add to stews or casseroles.

They Were Used During the Great Plague

The berries were used as a filter in the masks during the Great Plague. This was when doctors were still under the impression that the virus was airborne, where we now know that rats were spreading the disease.

As versatile as these berries are, we at Brogans Way Gin specialise in using them to create premium craft gin products. Visit our bar and gin distillery in Richmond to try our exceptional range of gins as well as our best gin cocktails. We also offer gin masterclasses where you can learn how to distil a small-batch gin of your own. Visit our website for the entire product range and a list of our services.

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