Gin is known for a lot of things like flavor, types, color and unique botanical combinations. You will also be intrigued by the fact – there are many small handcrafting gin establishments that use various methods to make their products stand out in the crowd. Use of elephant dung to pick up the un-chewed botanicals and producing a gin from them like Indlovu Gin is one of the best examples of – Gin is an embodiment of creativity.
But ponder a little and think what is the most basic yet popular factor when it comes to gin? Berries ? Juniper Berries! Let me tell you that Juniper Berries are scientifically termed as Glycosmis pentaphylla and commonly called as orangeberry and gin berry. This species of berry is used as the foundation of the majority of gins in the whole world. Known for their bold and unique character, juniper berries solely carry the flavor of a gin while the other botanicals add their own zing to the magic.
Recently a team of scientists from BSI – Botanical Survey of India has discovered a new species to be categorized under gin berry. This species of berry is indigenous to the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.
‘While exploring the study site, four sub-populations of the species were located in the valley between two hillocks, with each having three–seven mature individuals in groups. Though flowering, natural regeneration and seedling recruitment of this taxon is found to be fairly good within the locality, while habitat modification causes a major threat to the survival of this species’By Dr Sujana
This species of gin berry is named as Glycosmis albicarpa and it is characterized as a distinct large white fruit. The highlight of this discovery is that this berry has a ‘gin aroma’ and it belongs to the Orange family Rutaceae. This berry has gained popularity as an edible fruit and this astonishing find has been published in the latest issue of Nordiac Journal of Botany from Sweden.
“Since the world is losing precious habitats that are home to many unique and endemic species, it is high time we protected the Western Ghats to conserve such species before they are lost forever.”By Dr. Vadhyar.
The tree that bears this fruit comes under the classification of evergreen trees. It was found as an undergrowth in Tirunelveli semi-evergreen forests at the Panagudi forest section of the wildlife sanctuary as a single population that covers an area of approximately 2 sq.km Such findings prove that there is so much potential in researches as well as there is a lot that is yet to be discovered. This new berry might be added on the list and honestly it is exciting to think what kind of flavor would this new gin berry impart?
“The discovery not only re-emphasises the uniqueness and endemism in Western Ghats’ flora but also adds to the growing inventory of the region’s flora”By Ragesh Gopala Vadhyar, co-author.