Juniperus Communis

What makes a gin a gin?  Juniperus Communis!

More specifically the berry of this particular species of Juniper.  Yes, there are many species of “Juniper” trees: 52 or 67, depending on which Botanist you choose to believe.  The berries of each species have different flavors, though of course they are mostly similar.  But Juniperus Communis is the principal source of juniper flavoring for Gin.

Certainly this spice is not the only flavoring in your favorite Gin.  Additional spices and botanicals may include citrus (lemon, orange peel, lime peel etc.), anise, licorice, cinnamon, almond, saffron, coriander, nutmeg, cassia, and other, more exotic and rare, spices.  But all Gins have, or should have, a bit of Juniper.

Interestingly, the ‘berry’ is not really a berry.  It is the female seed cone of this evergreen tree.  This cone is very small with coalescing scales which fuse together to form a “berry”-like structure.  The berries are usually blue, as with the Juniperus Communis.  But other species of Juniper may have red-brown or orange berries.

juniper-berry-2

So the next time you enjoy your Perfect Martini lift a toast to Juniperus Communis.

 

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3 Responses to Juniperus Communis

  1. Hibby says:

    In eastern culture the juniper berry has many medicinal properties. The most particularly one in relation to female fertility and contraception. It seems to me this is a potent little berry. It would seem to me that either way the result would be the same, lol. Either way, the hardiest male intoxicated by gin or a female with boosted there’s going to be the pitted patter of little feet in nine months.

    • wlmoon58 says:

      So you’re suggesting that Gin is an aphrodisiac? 🙂 Sounds like a great reason for a Martini. 😉

      • PortGirl says:

        Interesting facts about the Juniper un-berry…your comment is not only a good reason for a Martini but possibly an interesting topic of research for your next post!! Although I have already formulated my hypothesis, I look forward to conducting some not-so-scientific research on your suggestion this weekend!! 🙂 🙂
        Cheers!!

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