Juniper berries are harvested from an evergreen tree in the cypress family found throughout temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Although juniper has little lumber value due to its size, its wood is used in northern European countries to construct boxes to house aging cheese. Juniper wood is also used as incense and to smoke meats and cheeses. The berries, which are not berries at all but cones, are used to flavor game meats, breads, sauces and liquors. Juniper berries were once used to flavor Scottish whiskey, and are still used in gin, Swedish beer and a French hops-based beverage called genevrette.
Juniper is a coniferous tree native to Europe, Asia and North America.
The berries, which are actually modified cones, are used whole or ground as spice. Ground juniper berries are encapsulated as a dietary supplement, or used to produce infusions and tonics as beverages or for topical use on the skin. Juniper berry powder is also added to incense blends intended to be burned on smoldering charcoal.