Sunday, February 18, 2007

"Of course they've brought forth juniper berries! They're juniper bushes! What do you expect?" But maybe the British can't expect for much longer.

This line is from a wonderful scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian where Brian is pursued by a maniacal band of worshipers. Hungry, they think Brian has given them a miracle of food. But he's turned the horde to a juniper bush owned by Simon - a recluse whose 18 year vow of silence Brian broke by jumping on his foot.

Simon's only form of sustenance was the juniper berries.

Although most gin these days is flavoured by berries grown in Italy and Eastern Europe, the British juniper bush is under threat.

The juniper bush "harbours about 40 species of insects, and is one of only three native conifers" in Britain. If Brits drank local gin I suspect that demand for berries would keep the bush alive.


Tom said...

Where do the berries for local gins (e.g. South) come from? And does anyone on NZ make Vermouth? The concept of eating and drinking local is laudable, but until we can have a Martini made from South gin and local vermouth with a Wairarapa olive, it'll never be achievable!

mikeymike said...

Must confess I've only ever looked into the contents of drinks while at a bar.

South are quiet on berries on their website, but specify non GE wheat. Although it'd be harder work finding logal GE grain.

How about Mt.Vic olives!?