Juniper Berries – 150g
Juniper Berries come from the female seed cone which is produced from various species of the Juniper tree. The most commonly used specie is the Juniperus Communis which is very popular in European cusinie and is also the variety used to give gin its distinctive flavour. Juniper Berries develop a gin-like peppery taste during the drying process, and can be used fresh or dried and can be ground down to be added into dishes.
Due to the intense flavour, Juniper Berries are added to flavour gin as its robust flavour stands up well to the taste of strong alcohol. In Europe, Juniper Berries are used to complement meats with strong flavours like game, venison and beef and are wonderful when added to a stew or meat terrines and pates.
An example recipe for Juniper Berries:
Make your own Gin
- 500ml vodka
- 2 tablespoons juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon green cardamon pods
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried lemongrass
- 2 strips orange peel (try to avoid any white pith as it’s very bitter)
- half a cinnamon stick
- 1 stick of licorice root
Simply combine all the ingredients in a clean bottle and leave for a few days in a cool dark place.
Usually after about 3 days the gin has taken on plenty of flavour but you can leave it longer to intensify.
Once happy simply strain the liquid to remove any bits and then bottle. I like to serve the gin with a juniper berry floating on it, as you bite in it releases a really wonderful sweetness.