The berries were known to Greek, Roman and early Arab physicians as a medicinal fruit and are mentioned in the Bible. In the Renaissance, they were recommended against snake bite, and plague and pestilence.
Juniper berries bring a "freshening" quality to recipes, a sharp, clear flavor to Scandanavian, German-Austrian-Czech, and Northern Italian cuisines. Juniper makes game less game-y, so is a frequent contributor to wild bird and game recipes. It cuts the fatty effect of duck and pork as well.
Juniper berries blend well with other herbs and spices: thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, allspice and onions and garlic. Add juniper berries to wine marinades for meats, or use with coriander for smoking meats. For a delicious sauerbraten, add 3 tablespoons to the marinade. Lightly crush and then rub over meats before roasting or grilling. Juniper berries even go well in fruit dishes like apple tarts.