Other Names: Common Juniper, Gin Berry, Horse Savin, Gin Plant, Bayas de Enebro, Genévrier, Ginepro, Wachholder, Jagody Jałowca, Junípero, Seiyō-Suzu & Jeneverbes.
Description: Juniper is a coniferous, evergreen tree native to Europe, the Himalayas, southwestern Asia and North America. It can reach a height of up to 10-15 metres. The simple, spiny, needle like leaves grow in whorls of 3 around the slender twigs and are dark to glaucous green in colour and 1-2cm in length. The male and female flowers grow on different trees, and once pollinated give rise to green, spherical, berry like seed cones which take 18 months to ripen. Once ripe they change colour to purpley-black with a blue waxy coating and are 4–12mm in diameter.
Brief History: Did you know that gin was originally a medicine in the 16th century? Although the herb had been used to flavour medicines and liqueurs since the 11th century, when juniper was used as a means of trying to avoid the black death. Gin as a medicine is said to have been originally invented by a Dutch chemist who used juniper to flavour his medicine for their diuretic, stomachic, and carminative properties which lent themselves to treating stomach problems such as indigestion and flatulence, by the 17th century gin was being distilled and distributed across Europe.
Ingredients: Dried fruit of juniper communis.
Juniper berries have a piney, bitter taste and aroma, they are an ideal ingredient to add to rich gamey dishes containing venison, duck and pheasant. They also work well with pork and lamb, and are excellent when added to dishes such as potato gratin, sauerkraut and pickles. The berries can also be used to make sweet syrups to poach fruit in or to use as a base for a fruit salad. To get the best results, lightly crush juniper berries before adding to a dish to help release their flavour.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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