Juniper berries are the ripe, dried cones from the Juniper evergreen shrub which grows throughout the northern hemisphere. The berries are about a quarter inch wide and bluish-purple. Their flavor is intensely spicy with a slight touch of pine. Although best known as the flavoring for gin and other liqueurs, juniper berries have many culinary uses.
These berries are often used when cooking game meat, as the berries help reduce the gaminess as well as add a nice tartness. They can be used in marinades and sauces or rubbed over meat before grilling or roasting. Crushing the berries before use will release their essential oils and enhance the flavor they impart.
Flavor of Juniper Berries
These berries are intensely spicy with piney notes and pair well with caraway, garlic, marjoram, pepper, and rosemary.
Uses of Juniper Berries
Crush before use to release essential oils and enhance flavor. Add to marinades and sauces. Rub over meat before grilling or roasting. Often used for game meat.
Juniper Berries Recipe
For 5-6 T of mix: Grind 1 T pequin chiles and juniper berries and 1 t anise seeds into a coarse powder and mix with 1 1/2 T kosher salt, 1 T sugar, and 1 1/2 t pepper, tarragon, sage, and dried garlic