It seems like every time I write one of these ‘Hey, let’s try different ingredients!’ reviews, I walk in with some level of expectation that needs to be beaten with a stick. Inevitably, I write some version of “I expected this, but got that”.
Without further ado, I bring you Juniper.
Missy and I spent a little bit discussing how strong to brew this for a 12 oz glass. Originally, I was thinking we should go a little light. This is what I would refer to as ‘being scared’. I didn’t want to down a cup of Pine-Sol. We settled on full strength. At least then I would know exactly what kind of impact the berries would have on any future blends.
At one point during the steeping process, Missy hesitantly asked me whether she really should go with the full 8 minutes that we normally brew herbals at, but we carried forward.
So, after a prolonged period of anticipation, Missy sets a cup down next to me… and…
It looks like water. Honestly, it’s only a shade or two of yellow off from perfectly crystal clear. If it was in anything other than a clear glass mug, you might think that you had a cup of water.
It does have an aroma, a somewhat sweet pine spicy fruity-ness to it. It’s actually a really interesting and pleasant scent. I’m growing more fond of it by the minute.
So how does it taste? Well, still kind of like water. It has an extremely subtle-but-apparent flavor to it, that may or may not actually just be the scent working it’s way across my tongue. You feel the almost tangy pine flavor in your jaw more than you really taste it on your tongue. There’s a light sweetness to it as well.
It really seems like a lot of work for a flavor that would be eclipsed by ice-water-with-lemon. What I definitely do know now, is that I don’t have to shy away from the juniper berries in any mix I might toss together. They’ll add more to aesthetic value than they would detract from flavor.
So, all in all – I expected a purple cup of pine-death, but ended up with a faint but pleasant scented water. I’ll chalk that up as a win.