Why is Macedonian  Juniper so special?

Juniper in North Macedonia is not your ordinary juniper.  Most juniper is an agricultural product, grown in industrial farms in India.  Juniper from North Macedonia grows wild, in its native environment, and is gathered from bushes that grow naturally on the southern mountains.  Our juniper is collected by pickers who gather the berries by hand.  Juniper is one of North Macedonia's most significant plant exports and is the most sought-after for gin making.  That's why it makes perfect sense to make gin here.

Collecting juniper by hand

Rich in essentail oils

North Macedonian juniper berries are special because the unique natural terroir gives them a high content of essential oils. These wild berries grow wild on high mountain slopes that are clean and unpolluted, the very best juniper for the world's finest craft gin. 

collecting juniper from wild bushes

Juniper is abundant
(if you know where to look)

It takes on average 10 years before a juniper bush starts producing flowers and berries, taking 12-18 months to ripen, so a bush will bear both immature fruits and ripe and ready-to-harvest berries at the same time.  Luckily, North Macedonia has an abundance of juniper bushes, hundreds of square kilometers of wild natural juniper grow on the mountains at an elevation above 800 meters.

Beating juniper off wild bushes

Hand picked and selected 

SMIDGIN berries are hand picked in autumn. The ripe, deep blue berries are beaten off the bushes and collected in large wooden sieves for cleaning and sorting.

Only the best berries make it into our distillery where they are inspected and selected for freshness and quality.