Worked this one up over the weekend at a friend's home upsate. Juniper plants ring the house, and I cut a couple sprigs and stuck them in a bottle of Beefeater 24 and let it sit overnight (about 9 hours).
While brazenly retrofitting the meticulously crafted riff on the classic Beefeater recipe I felt a pang of anxiety; mucking about with master distiller Desmond Payne's elegant gin is a bit like playing God. But the result was good good I got over it-- the juniper actually melded in to the grapefruit and tea-inflected profile, adding a crisp, mineral complexity to the subtle gin. I chilled a coupe, then gave it a rinse with Dolin dry vermouth, shaking well. Stirred the B24Juniper about 30 times then strained into the glass, garnishing with a fresh sprig of juniper and some small red berries called crab apples that came from the field in front of the house. The finished martini was zingy and ennervating, with a more crisp menthol note from the leaves of the juniper than you get from the oily, denser berries that are distilled in the gin already. Cranberries, huckleberries or even a red grape could work as a subsititure for the crab apples for the choice visual flourish. No name yet-open to suggestions. J.R.