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Juniper Berries Substitutes (How To Use Them)

Juniper Berries Substitutes (How To Use Them)

Uh oh! Are you all out of juniper berries and can’t find any at the store? No worries. There are a number of excellent replacements and alternatives to juniper berry that you can use in your recipe.

Juniper berries are used to flavor many great desserts and dinner dishes so it’s important to know which substitute to use so you can still make a flavor packed dish.

What are the best substitutes for juniper berries?

The juniper berry substitutes you can use are rosemary, caraway seeds, bay leaves, cardamom, and certain gins.

Any of these replacements can be used in your recipe and will provide a spectacular flavor! For info on each alternative and how to use it in your recipe read on below.

What Are Juniper Berries?

Juniper berries are small, round berries that grow in the junipers of the Alps and other mountainous areas. They are often used to flavor gin and liqueurs as well as for producing juniper oil, an essential oil used for several different purposes.

Juniper berries contain a number of natural oils, including oils with a definite spicy flavor. While you can find them fresh at many markets, you can also purchase them online or in stores for use in your recipes.

Using Juniper Berry When Cooking

Yes, juniper berries can be used in cooking. You can use them to flavor a number of different recipes, including ferments and even pickles. To make a recipe with juniper berries you need to grind them and then add them to your other ingredients.

You can use the ground berries whole, or you can crush them to make them more potent. Use the substitutes below in order to flavor your dish to the perfect degree.

Best Juniper Berry Alternatives

You can replace juniper berries with any of the following ingredients. Be sure to taste test your recipe as you add your substitute to ensure proper ratios are used.


Rosemary is a wonderful herb that can be used to flavor a number of different dishes. It works well as a substitute for juniper berries in many recipes. In order to achieve the rosemary flavor you want you will need to add around 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary per teaspoon of juniper berries. You can also use it with your favorite meats or even vegetables for a wonderful taste.

Caraway Seeds

You will need 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds to equal one teaspoon of juniper berries. You can use them whole or crushed for a very potent flavor. They can be used in meats, vegetables, and other recipes and are high in fiber and edible oils.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are an excellent herb that is often used in Mexican cuisine. They can be used to replace juniper berries for a gorgeous flavor. You will need around 1/2 teaspoon per teaspoon of juniper berries for proper replacement. Bay leaves are toasted or dry roasted before being used and are a common ingredient in soups and meats.


Cardamom is a strong spice that is used widely in India, Middle Eastern, and Asian recipes. It can be used to replace juniper for a potent flavor. You will need around 1/2 teaspoon cardamom per teaspoon juniper berries for proper replacement. You can also use this substitute with your favorite meats or vegetables to get a great flavor.


Yes, you can even use gin in place of juniper berries! Some gins are flavored with juniper berries so it makes an excellent alternative to whole juniper berries in desserts. Gin has a wonderful taste and makes the perfect replacement to the berries when making drinks and alcoholic beverages too.

Bottom Line

Juniper berries are a wonderful spice that is used in many recipes. However, they are not always easy to find so it’s important that you know how to use the substitutes listed above to help you make great desserts.

Which substitute do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section!