Juniper Berries


Juniper berries are the fruit form an evergreen and is used in making brines for meats and the main ingredient in flavoring gin.


Other names: Juniperus Communis
Translations: Kadiķu ogas, Kadagio uogų, Boabele de ienupăr, Borovicu, Jagód jałowca, Jeneverbessen, जुनिपर बेरीज, Juniper bagas, Ягоды можжевельника, Αρκεύθου, العرعر التوت, 주니 퍼의 열매, Jalovcové bobule, Halaman ng dyuniper Berries, 杜松浆果, Baies de ginebre, Brinove jagode, Bobuľky borievky, Bacche di ginepro, ג 'וניפר בריס, Enbär, Бобице клеке, ジュニパーベリー, Baies de genièvre, Wacholder, Enebær, Einebær, Bayas de enebro, Ягоди ялівцю, Katajanmarjat, Плодове от хвойна

Physical Description

Junipers vary in size and shape from tall trees, 20-40 m tall, to columnar or low spreading shrubs with long trailing branches. They are evergreen with needle-like and/or scale-like leaves. They can be either monoecious or dioecious. The female seed cones are very distinctive, with fleshy, fruit-like coalescing scales which fuse together to form a "berry"-like structure, 4-27 mm long, with 1-12 unwinged, hard-shelled seeds. In some species these "berries" are red-brown or orange but in most they are blue; they are often aromatic and can be used as a spice. The seed maturation time varies between species from 6–18 months after pollination. The male cones are similar to those of other Cupressaceae, with 6-20 scales; most shed their pollen in early spring, but some species pollinate in the autumn.

Colors: green and cones are grey

Tasting Notes

Flavors: bitter, spicy, sweet
Mouthfeel: Spicy, Sharp, Pungent, Bitter
Food complements: Beef, Fish, Cabbage, Sauerkraut, Wild game, Elk
Wine complements: White wine, Red wine
Beverage complements: Soda water, Fruit juices
Substitutes: Gin

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november
Buying: Juniper berries can be purchased from our spice singles page (telephone and email orders only - no e-commerce) or order juniper berries online from an Amazon dealer.
Procuring: An evergreen coniferous tree of the cypress family. The plant grows wild throughout the northern hemisphere. In Britain, juniper generally reaches about 2m (6ft) in height and is more like a shrub, but in Scandinavia it can reach 33 feet. The leaves are dull green needles, very sharp, arranged in groups of three. The fruits are green throughout the first two years. Thereafter they ripen every two years, and at different times. Harvest from September to October and the berries must be dried below 35°C (95°F) to retain the essential oil. In the country it can be freely picked, though it is advisable to wear heavy gloves to protect your hands from the juniper's hostile spikes..

Conserving and Storing

Juniper berries are at their best when they are still moist and soft to the touch, squashing fairly easily between one's fingers. It is possible to make a purée from juniper berries or to extract the flavour and aroma by macerating them in hot water, but as all parts are edible and the texture is agreeable, it is usually just as well to use the entire fruit, split or crushed. The berries are quite powerful, one heaped teaspoon of crushed fruits serving for a dish for four people. Store in a cool place in an airtight container.


Junipers are evergreen shrubs which are found in temperate zones of both Europe and North America. Not all junipers produce usable berries, but those that do yield cones with a characteristic tart, resinous flavor. The earliest recorded use of juniper berries appears to have been in Ancient Greece, when the cones were given to athletes as a medicinal treatment. The Ancient Egpyptians also used juniper berries, as evidence in tombs and on wall paintings indicates.

History: The Dutch were the first to use juniper berries in an alcohol, when they made gin, although gin was intended initially as a medicinal treatment, rather than a recreational beverage. The grain alcohol in gin was originally used as a suspension medium for the beneficial juniper berries, and people developed a taste for this particular medical formula. The Dutch believed that juniper berries promoted healthy joints, and they also used it as an appetite stimulant.



Related Cooking Videos

Comments's picture

When some one searches for his necessary thing, thus he/she needs to be
available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.