These juniper berries from will be familiar to gin lovers - they are the main ingredient of any gin. They are sweet, spicy and slightly bitter. Crush two berries in your hand to release their flavor!
Juniper, typically Juniperus communis, is used to flavor gin, a liquor developed in the 17th century in the Netherlands. The name gin itself is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean "juniper".
Other juniper-flavoured beverages include the Finnish rye-and-juniper beer known as sahti, which is flavored with both juniper berries and branches.
Juniper berries are used in northern European and particularly Scandinavian cuisine to "impart a sharp, clear flavor" to meat dishes, especially wild birds and game meats (boar & venison). They also season pork, cabbage, and sauerkraut dishes.
Besides Norwegian and Swedish dishes, juniper berries are also sometimes used in German, Austrian, Czech, Polish and Hungarian cuisine, often with roasts. Northern Italian cuisine, especially that of the South Tyrol, also incorporates juniper berries.