I recently made a gose, and while looking at the list of possible additions to a gose, I was intrigued by the idea of juniper, and surprised how highly rated it was. Since the gose was already done brewing, I decided a juniper berry simple syrup may be a good way to test it out.
Syrups are a great way of adding a variety of flavors to beers after the fact. The drinker can decide on the flavor, as well as the strength of the flavor.
In a small pan, mix 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, and 1-2 Tbsp crushed juniper berries. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Pour mixture into a glass container, and let the berries steep. You’ll want to do 4-8 hours. Once it’s cool, put the container in the fridge.
Strain out the juniper berries.
You’ll be left with a spicy, sprucy syrup that you can add to cocktails, or a variety of beers. This adds a subtle amount of juniper flavor, and I found that 1 Tbsp of juniper berries wasn’t quite enough. The sweetness of the syrup becomes noticeable before the juniper flavor really gets a chance to shine through. However, this likely depends on the how fresh your juniper berries are.
Juniper berries tend to go well with sweeter things, so the simple syrup does help push your base beers that way. I’ve tried this in a dry cider and in a gose, and in both, the juniper and simple syrup combo was a welcome addition.
You can find juniper berries in the bulk section of many health food stores, or at homebrew stores.