Juniper: The background behind Gin's essential botanical

Juniper: The background behind Gin's essential botanical

4
min
Gin, In the details

While gin can be an exploration of a myriad of different flavours and botanic notes, there is one ingredient that is an absolute must-have. The signature note of all gin should be Juniper.

Curious gin facts and its debaucherous history


The beauty of Oak Barrel Gin

Juniper: The background behind Gin's essential botanical

4
min
Gin, In the details

While gin can be an exploration of a myriad of different flavours and botanic notes, there is one ingredient that is an absolute must-have. The signature note of all gin should be Juniper.

You may be familiar with this fact, but could you describe the characteristics of a Juniper shrub? While Juniper may be a household name in reference to gin, the plant itself is not so commonplace. And this in itself is rather peculiar, given the health food and superfood crazes over the last decade.


It’s hidden everywhere

While it is referred to as “Common Juniper,” it may not be commonly recognisable. The Juniper bush has one of the largest geographic ranges of any woody plant in the world. Variations of the species exist in over 38 countries, from the forests of New Zealand to the mountaintops of the Himalayas.


Health Benefits

Juniper, and more specifically its berries, have been used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes dating back to the Egyptian empire. There has been a host of research done on the beneficial effect of Juniper going back hundreds of years.


More recently, a research report found that “the volatile oils in juniper berries contain substances known as monoterpenes, including limonene, camphor, and beta-pinene. Monoterpenes have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties recent.”


It is arguable whether the health benefits of this super-berry make it through the distillation process. More consumer media reports have stated that the positive benefits carry through the process. While nutritional science reports, like those published by Harvard, argue that the ingestion of alcohol most likely negates them.


Taste

Juniper berries in their natural form are known for their intensity. They tend to have a sharp tartness, with a resinous, piney flavour and hints of citrus. Juniper berries are considered a superfood and have been used in medicinal tonics for generations–which could explain its “medicine-like” flavour associations.


With more than 100 volatile compounds present in juniper berries, not only provenance but also processing method can change the flavour of the end product. The dominant volatile component of common juniper berries is α-pinene, which has the pine-woody aroma found in gin.

Juniper: The background behind Gin's essential botanical

4
min
Gin, In the details

While gin can be an exploration of a myriad of different flavours and botanic notes, there is one ingredient that is an absolute must-have. The signature note of all gin should be Juniper.

You may be familiar with this fact, but could you describe the characteristics of a Juniper shrub? While Juniper may be a household name in reference to gin, the plant itself is not so commonplace. And this in itself is rather peculiar, given the health food and superfood crazes over the last decade.


It’s hidden everywhere

While it is referred to as “Common Juniper,” it may not be commonly recognisable. The Juniper bush has one of the largest geographic ranges of any woody plant in the world. Variations of the species exist in over 38 countries, from the forests of New Zealand to the mountaintops of the Himalayas.


Health Benefits

Juniper, and more specifically its berries, have been used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes dating back to the Egyptian empire. There has been a host of research done on the beneficial effect of Juniper going back hundreds of years.


More recently, a research report found that “the volatile oils in juniper berries contain substances known as monoterpenes, including limonene, camphor, and beta-pinene. Monoterpenes have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties recent.”


It is arguable whether the health benefits of this super-berry make it through the distillation process. More consumer media reports have stated that the positive benefits carry through the process. While nutritional science reports, like those published by Harvard, argue that the ingestion of alcohol most likely negates them.


Taste

Juniper berries in their natural form are known for their intensity. They tend to have a sharp tartness, with a resinous, piney flavour and hints of citrus. Juniper berries are considered a superfood and have been used in medicinal tonics for generations–which could explain its “medicine-like” flavour associations.


With more than 100 volatile compounds present in juniper berries, not only provenance but also processing method can change the flavour of the end product. The dominant volatile component of common juniper berries is α-pinene, which has the pine-woody aroma found in gin.

Curious gin facts and its debaucherous history