Juniper to Gin!
A juniper berry is the female seed produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but is a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales. This gives it a berry-like appearance. Juniperus Communis is one of a handful of species which is used as a spice in cooking and is also what gives gin its distinctive flavour. Juniper berries are possibly the only spice derived from conifers,
Juniper, typically Juniperus Communis is used to flavor gin. This was developed in the 17th century in tthe Netherlands. The name gin itself is derived from either the french word genièvre or the Dutch word jenever, both of which mean “juniper”
Other juniper flavoured, derived beverages include the Finnish Rye and juniper beer known as sahti which is flavored with both juniper berries as well as the branches.
Once harvested the Gin is created by distilling fermented grain and a number of different botanicals including juniper. If juniper was not added to the process you would end up with something similar to flavoured vodka.
Thankfully Juniper has brought us Anywhere Gin!