Juniper berries left over from gin distillation are now used in cheese

The cheese Crafter’s Juniper, made by Liviko in collaboration with Andre cheese farm, uses juniper berries left over from gin distillation.

“At Liviko, we’ve come up with a unique approach that makes use of the juniper berries and the extract left over from the gin distillation process. Laboratory tests have shown that these juniper berries contain valuable minerals, and as much as a quarter of the berries is fibre. With Crafter’s Juniper cheese, we take the reuse of the production residue in the food industry to a whole new level. I hope that we can inspire other manufacturers to create new flavour experiences in a similar manner,” said Hanna Kaur, Liviko’s beverage architect.

“Liviko’s suggestion to add leftover juniper berries from gin distillation to our cheese was appealing from the start. Soon, the first batch of cheese with juniper berry fragments was set aside for maturing, and it became apparent that the slightly bitter taste of the juniper berries blends perfectly with the flavour of our Gouda-type cheese. Crafter’s Juniper is a creamy cheese with a delicate juniper bouquet, made from milk enriched with dried juniper berries and sourced from happy cows raised on pure feed, like our other cheeses,” said Erika Pääbus, the hostess at Andre cheese farm.

“Juniper berries keep surprising us with their rich flavour profile. We have discovered three distinct flavour notes, which provide fresh, slightly bitter and faintly woody nuances in all three product categories. Once the Crafter’s gin has been distilled, we use the remaining flavoursome extract to make the Re-crafted Crafter’s sparkling craft drinks. Then, the same juniper berries end up in Andre cheese farm’s delicious cheese, which goes excellently with a classic gin cocktail,” said Hanna Kaur, Liviko’s beverage architect.

In 2019, Liviko developed a solution that is unique in the world: the juniper berries used in the gin distillation process are reused to make another drink. The remaining extract is used to make Re-crafted Crafter’s juniper berry soft drink and juniper beer (3.2 vol), and the high-fibre juniper berries are added to the cheese Crafter’s Juniper.

At Andre cheese farm, all cheeses are made from the farm’s own supply of cow’s milk. The product range includes a selection of quality cheese similar to Gouda, with various flavours and maturation times. The cheese farm is a subsidiary of the family business Andre Farmi OÜ, which started cheese production in 2015. Andre Farm has 200 dairy cows, about two thirds of whose milk is processed into cheese. Established in 1998, Andre Farm OÜ operates in Tartu County.

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