Juniperus Gin

Juniperus Gin: What Is It and What Are the Best Options Out There?

There’s a world where the juniper berry reigns supreme, and it’s closer than you think! “Juniperus Gin” has been growing in popularity, and we’re going to cover everything about it today. We’re going to explore what makes this type of gin different from regular gin, and see what kinds of regulations exist surrounding using this term on a label. We’ll also going to cover some of the best Juniperus Gins available on the market right now, and give you some cocktail recipes (like a juniperus gin fizz) to test them out in. Are you drooling yet? Let’s get started!

What Is Juniperus Gin?

Juniperus Gin is a specific spirit in the gin family. It is distinguished by a predominant, pine-y flavor that comes from the juniper berry, specifically Juniperus communis. This hardy shrub, found globally, is essential in gin production, with its berries hand-harvested to capture their unique piney, citrusy, and herbaceous aromas. It’s important to note that all gin already has a notable juniper flavor.

So… What’s the Difference Then? Juniperus Gin vs Regular Gin

The term “Juniperus Gin” isn’t formally recognized (at least not yet) as a distinct category within the world of gin, though we’ve seen a growing popularity in brands adding this “descriptor” to their bottles. Instead, it seems to refer to gins where juniper is a particularly prominent flavor, beyond the already essential role that juniper plays in all gins. However, since it isn’t a regulated label, you might also find very juniper-forward gins without a “Juniperus Gin” label.

Here’s how bottles of gin with the “Juniperus” label tend compare with “regular” gin:

#1: In Their Flavor Profile

Regular gin, by definition, must have a noticeable juniper flavor, as this is what distinguishes gin from other spirits. However, in “Juniperus Gin,” the juniper flavor might be more intense or more forward than in standard gins. This can be achieved through different production methods or by using a higher proportion of juniper berries.

#2: Botanicals

While all gins include juniper and a variety of other botanicals, a “Juniperus Gin” might focus more heavily on the juniper aspect, either reducing other botanicals’ presence or selecting those that complement or enhance the juniper flavor.

#3: Production Methods

There might be differences in how “Juniperus Gin” is produced compared to regular gin. Some distillers might use techniques that extract more flavor from the juniper berries or use specific types of juniper that have a more pronounced flavor. Production methods vary, of course, among producers.

#4: Consumer Perception

“Juniperus Gin” might appeal more to those who are seeking a gin with a strong, traditional juniper flavor, as opposed to gins where juniper is balanced with or even overshadowed by other botanical flavors. It all depends on what you’re looking for in a gin.

What in Juniper Berries Give Juniperus Gin Its Unique Flavor?

The flavor profile of juniper berries is complex, mainly due to α-Pinene, which imparts a fresh, pine-like aroma, with other compounds adding earthy, spicy, and woody notes. As we mentioned above, production methods may be tweaked for Juniperus Gins so that more of this compound is extracted.

Regulations for Juniperus Gin:

There are no formal regulations surrounding what can be labeled as “Juniperus Gin.” Instead, Juniperus gins are primarily governed by the standards set for gin production in general. The following guidelines are generally followed by gin producers; this way you can get a reliable, predictable drinking experience when purchasing a “Juniperus Gin”: 

Predominant Juniper Flavor

A key regulation for gin, including Juniperus Gin, is that the taste must be predominantly that of juniper. This regulation ensures that the characteristic piney and herbaceous flavor of juniper berries is the primary flavor profile of the spirit. This is a common standard across various types of gin.

Production Process

The production methods for gin can vary, but they typically involve the distillation of a base spirit with juniper berries and other botanicals. The specific processes can differ between distilleries, and in some cases, additional flavors or botanicals are introduced. However, the juniper flavor must remain the most prominent.

Alcohol Content

Gin production regulations also specify a minimum alcohol content, often set at around 37.5% ABV. This standard ensures the spirit’s consistency in terms of strength and quality.

Geographical Indications

While there are specific geographical indications for certain types of gin (like Plymouth Gin or London Dry Gin), Juniperus Gin, as a category, doesn’t have such geographical restrictions. It’s more about the flavor profile and the production process rather than the location of the distillery.

Labeling and Marketing

The labeling of gin, including Juniperus Gin, must accurately represent the product, adhering to regulations regarding the disclosure of alcohol content, ingredients, and the production process. This ensures transparency and consumer trust in the product.

4 of the BEST Juniperus Gin Options You Have to Try:

#1: Cantilever Distillery’s Juniperus Gin

Price: $34.99 / 750mL

Cantilever Distillery, renowned for its Juniperus Gin, exemplifies the meticulous craft of gin making. Their focus on quality and flavor precision places them at the forefront of juniper gin producers. Distilleries like Cantilever often experiment with various distillation techniques and botanical blends, ensuring that juniper remains the backbone of their spirits.

#2: Junipero Gin

Price: $35 / 750mL

Junipero Gin, a product of Junipero Distillery in San Francisco, is celebrated for its strong and crisp juniper-forward flavor. It blends the freshness and complexity of juniper with subtle notes of citruses and soft spices, offering an easy-going yet juniper-heavy profile​​.

#3: Bluebird Distilling Juniperus Gin

Price: $49.99 / 750mL

Bluebird Distilling’s Juniperus Gin is a flagship gin, known for its distinctive and aromatic character. It is crafted from rye, which they then redistill and vapor-infuse with tons of botanicals and spices. This process gives it a unique and fresh profile.

The gin smells of fresh cucumber, lemon, and spice. It tastes like citrus zest and pepper, along with hints of evergreen. This gin has a well-rounded and intriguing tasting experience. At 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof), it has a robust yet balanced profile.

#4: Prohibition Liquor Co. Juniperus Gin

Price: $99.00 / 500mL

Prohibition Liquor Co.’s Juniperus Gin is a London Dry style that has been carefully crafted to showcase the juniper berry’s unique flavors. The distillation process includes whole, crushed, macerated, and vapor infused juniper, along with grains of paradise and cassia bark for warmth, and Riverland citrus, vanilla, and macadamia for a balanced palate. While a bit pricey, this gin has received accolades for its quality, including Best Gin of Show at the Royal Australian Spirit Awards in 2022​​​​.

Juniper-Forward Gins Without the “Juniperus Gin” Label You Should Try:

Not all Juniperus Gins have a label that identifies them as such, though. You’ll find a sprinkling of juniper-forward gins on the market without a label, so knowing which ones fit this category can help you round out your collection – if juniper-forward gins are your thing. Here are several you can try, maybe even comparing them to some “labeled” juniperus gins.

Sipsmith V.J.O.P.

Price: $50 / bottle

Sipsmith V.J.O.P. (Very Junipery Over Proof) Gin is a unique and highly juniper-forward gin, offering a rich sip and perfect mix for cocktails. It is crafted with three times the amount of juniper (compared to their standard gin) and undergoes a three-day maceration process. 

Despite its high proof (57.7% ABV), it maintains its smoothness and warmth, making it a fantastic choice for those who favor a juniper-dominant gin. This gin is well-suited for classic cocktails, offering a bold and complex flavor profile that enhances the juniper character in mixed drinks​​​​.

Other Honorable Mentions:

Some other easily accessible gins on the market are also very juniper-forward in their taste profile. For example, Beefeater London Dry Gin, Broker’s London Dry Gin, Tanqueray London Dry, and Portland Dry Gin 33 all have a very “juniper taste.”

5 Juniperus Gin Cocktails to Try

While picking a good Juniperus Gin is extremely important, you’ll also need something to mix it into! Here are five classic cocktails where the bold flavor can be wonderfully showcased and not be overpowering:

Juniperus Gin and Tonic

Fill a highball glass with ice, pour in 2 oz gin, top with 4 oz tonic water, and gently stir. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Juniperus Martini

In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine 2 oz gin and ½ oz dry vermouth. Stir well, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an olive or lemon twist.

Negroni with Juniperus Gin

In a mixing glass, combine 1 oz gin, 1 oz Campari, and 1 oz sweet vermouth with ice. Stir well, then strain into an old-fashioned glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

Juniperus Gin Fizz

In a shaker, combine 2 oz gin, 1 oz lemon juice, and ½ oz simple syrup with ice. Shake well and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon slice.

Juniperus French 75

In a shaker, combine 2 oz gin, ½ oz lemon juice, and ½ oz simple syrup with ice. Shake well and strain into a flute. Top with 3 oz Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

Find Distilleries Like Cantilever Distillery for Juniperus Gin Across America at Distillery Nearby

As the hype and intrigue for Juniperus Gin increases, finding new spirits couldn’t be easier! Here at Distillery Nearby, we’re all about making your distillery discovery journey as simple as possible. We constantly update our distillery directory with new distilleries and organize them by state. This way, you can browse and discover a new distillery near you with ease.

Find Your Next “Distillery Near Me” With Our Distillery Directory Today! →

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