You would think that someone whose name starts with a J wouldn’t have such a difficult time writing about a J-word, but such was my challenge. In the end, the J-word I selected for today’s challenge was juniper – the essense that gives the spirit Gin its flavour.
Gin and Vodka are the two most popular alcoholic drinks in the world, but the difference between them isn’t really much more than the spices and botanicals that’s added to Gin – of which juniper berries are the key. The juniper berry isn’t really a berry at all, but a cone. These little cones provide the only spice that’s derived from a conifer tree.
So, why do I care about the modest little juniper berry? Well, I’m a huge fan of the Classic Martini – James Bond style – shaken, not stirred. Without the juniper, a Gin martini would be … vodka.