The Art of Distilling Juniper: From Gin to Aromatic Waters

Uncategorized By Jun 07, 2023

Juniper has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes as well as flavoring food and beverages. Today it is commonly known as being the main ingredient in making gin, but it also has other uses such as an aromatic water in perfumes, lotions, and personal care products. To distill juniper for gin, juniper berries are crushed and placed in a copper still with other botanicals and neutral alcohol. They are heated until alcohol vapors rise through them and pass through a coil, cooling, and condensing it. The resulting liquid can then be used to make gin or aromatic waters.

The Art of Distilling Juniper: From Gin to Aromatic Waters

Juniper has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, as well as for flavoring food and beverages. Today, it is best known as the main ingredient in gin, but it also has many other uses. In this article, we will explore the art of distilling juniper, from gin to aromatic waters.

History of Juniper

Juniper has a long history of use in many cultures. The ancient Greeks used juniper berries to treat various ailments, and the Romans used them to flavor food and wine. Native Americans also used juniper berries to treat many illnesses, including coughs and colds.

In the middle ages, juniper was used to flavor beer, and it was not until the 17th century that juniper was first used to flavor gin. Gin became popular in England, where it was used as a medicine to treat various illnesses, including the plague.

Today, gin is still the most popular use for juniper, but it is also used in other alcoholic beverages, including vodka and liqueurs, as well as in non-alcoholic beverages such as tonic water and herbal teas.

The Distilling Process

To distill juniper, there are a few basic steps. First, the juniper berries are crushed and mixed with other botanicals, such as coriander, angelica root, and citrus peels. These ingredients are then placed in a copper still along with neutral alcohol, and heated until the alcohol vapors rise up through the botanicals.

As the vapor rises, it passes through a coil, which cools it and condenses it into a liquid. This liquid is called the distillate, and it contains the essential oils and flavors of the juniper and other botanicals.

The distillate can then be used to make gin, or it can be further distilled to create aromatic waters. Aromatic waters are used in perfumes, lotions, and other personal care products.

Gin Production

To make gin, the distillate is mixed with water and other ingredients, such as sugar and flavorings. These ingredients are blended together and then re-distilled, creating a high-proof spirit that is then diluted with water to bring it down to the desired alcohol content.

There are two main types of gin: distilled and compound. Distilled gin is made using the distilling process described above, while compound gin is made by simply blending neutral alcohol with flavorings, without the additional step of distillation.


Q: What are the health benefits of juniper berries?
A: Juniper berries are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a natural diuretic and have been used to treat urinary tract infections and other kidney problems.

Q: How do I use juniper berries?
A: Juniper berries can be used to flavor food, such as stews and sauces, or they can be steeped in alcohol to make gin or other flavored spirits. They can also be used to make aromatic waters, which can be added to perfumes and lotions.

Q: What are some popular gin cocktails?
A: Some popular gin cocktails include the Gin and Tonic, the Martini, and the Negroni.

In conclusion, juniper is a versatile plant with many uses, from flavoring food and drinks to providing health benefits. The art of distilling juniper has been around for centuries and continues to be a popular practice today. Whether you prefer a classic gin and tonic or a spritz of a juniper-scented perfume, the use of juniper is sure to enhance your experience.