Juniper – the magic ingredient in gin

What the magic ingredient in gin? The answer is Juniper! Juniper grows wild in many parts of the world, but it is especially associated with Northern Europe. In Finland and Sweden, Juniper branches are used to make saunas smell like Christmas! Juniper has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb and cooking ingredient, but its true fame comes from its use as an essential part of gin production. The juniper berry is the source of gin’s distinctive flavour and aroma – truly, it is what makes gin so special!
However, did you know that the juniper berry isn’t actually a berry? The juniper berry is actually a cone-like seed pod that grows on the juniper plant. The cone contains two chambers – one containing sweet, oily liquid and the other containing dryer, aromatic resin. When these are combined they create the distinctive taste and aroma of gin!