A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially Juniperus communis, are used as a spice, particularly in European cuisine, and also give gin its distinguishing flavour.
Where to buy juniper berries
I had been struggling to find a UK supplier for juniper berries until I discovered that most health food shops stock them. However, this is not a cheap way of buying them, they come in very small packets and are expensive.
Note: November 2008, Morrisons now sell juniper berries in their recently improved spice section - least they do in Erith, Kent! Berryshka, Slovenia, can supply juniper berries (500g or more).