And the Nominees Are
All About Orris: Harvest in Tuscany

Picking Juniper Berries in Tuscany: A Photo Album

In May I visited Italy to learn more about the botanicals used in Bombay Sapphire. From Tuscany they get both the juniper berries and orris used in the gin. 

Hills Tuscany Juniper Harvest with Bombay Sapphire_tn

In the rolling hills of Tuscany at high elevations where there are few trees and many wildflowers are found the juniper bushes. 

Bush Tuscany Juniper Harvest with Bombay Sapphire_tn

They're kind of ugly, sprawling little bushes.

Bush closerup 4 Tuscany Juniper Harvest with Bombay Sapphire_tn

They're full of clusters of berries- more than I'd expect. We were there during the off season, so not many are the blue color of ripe berries. 

Tuscany Juniper Picking with Bombay Sapphire harvesters2_tn

Juniper is harvested by hand, using wide round baskets and short sticks. 

Tuscany Juniper Picking with Bombay Sapphire wacking bush_tn

They stick the baskets beneath a branch and whack it with the stick so that the blue, ripe berries fall off but the green, unripe ones do not. 

Inspecting Tuscany Juniper Picking with Bombay Sapphire_tn

Some of the needles stick to the berries. Any green ones that get in are sorted out later. 

Tuscany Juniper Picking with Bombay Sapphire berries in basket_tn

I tried it, but wasn't very good at it. 

Camper pose Tuscany Juniper Picking with Bombay Sapphire_tn

But then again, there weren't actually any ripe berries to harvest at this time of year. 

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

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