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Surrey’s Juniper Gin a National Trust…

January 15th 2015
By: Melanie

It was great to see that one of Surrey’s most well known distilleries for gin, Kingston’s Beckett’s has teamed up with the National Trust to ensure the future of Box Hill’s juniper berries.
 
Box Hill is one of the most iconic hills in Surrey and is the summit of the North Downs. The hill’s name derives from the ancient box woodland found on the steepest slope which overlooks the river mole on the Western side. This side of the hill is owned and managed by the National Trust.
 
In return for the juniper berries, Kingston’s Beckett’s will plant some new plants on the nearby juniper hill.
 
Juniper berries despite their name are not actually berries, they are the female cones of a juniper bush, which taste very piney, similar to Rosemary but before you rush into the countryside to pick some, don’t forget that some of them are poisonous.
 
As well as being used to flavour gin, they can also be used in all sorts of cooking, but before using them you will need to put them into a plastic bag or a pestle and mortar and crush them up. They can be used when fresh, you can dry them, add them to casseroles, marinades or stuffing.
 
Here is a recipe from the BBC’s Good food website:
 
Venison with sweet and sour parsnips, pear and curly kale
 
Ingredients
2 x 225g/8oz venison loins, fully trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
20 juniper berries, freshly ground
75g/3oz butter
110g/4oz caster sugar
110fl oz/4fl oz malt vinegar
1 medium parsnip, peeled, sliced into ribbons on a mandoline
110ml/4fl oz chicken stock
200g/7oz kale, washed thoroughly, tough stalks removed
 
For the method please visit their website @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/roastloinofvenisonwi_93125