9 Best Substitutes For Pernod


Don’t you just love Pernod? The sweet, licorice-flavored drink that amazingly blends with seafood dishes and popular cocktail recipes as well?

 But you can’t buy a whole bottle of Pernod just for a sip of Peking cocktail, can you? There comes the need to find the best substitutes for it. Do you know which are those?

Some of the best substitutes of pernod are Pastis, Absinthe, Ouzo and Sambuca and Anisette.

Coming from the world’s second-largest wine seller Pernod Ricard, Pernod is a French liqueur with a sweet, anise-like flavor. It is a very popular aperitif that finds uses in seafood and cocktail recipes. 

But what can you do if you are out of Pernod and have an impulsive urge for a cocktail? The scribbles that follow are going to help you deal with such an impromptu situation. 

What Is Pernod? 

Pernod Anise and Ricard Pastis are two types of aperitifs from the French company Pernod Ricard. Pernod, or Pernod Anise, is a sweet French-based liqueur that has high overtones of licorice flavor. 

Pernod was produced in 1920 as a result of the banning of Absinthe, a legal alcoholic beverage. It has a high alcoholic content (40 ABV), making it rank equally among vodka, rum and gin. 

Uses of Pernod

Pernod is a refreshing liqueur that can be a wonderful addition to seafood recipes. It can be used in cakes instead of rum for a sweet flavor and a firm texture. It can also be a nice flavorsome addition to ice creams.

When it comes to giving that extra flavor to cocktails, none can beat Pernod. Pernod Sazerac, Pernod Corpse Reviver (it’s getting scary here!), Twenty Thousand Leagues, Vera Highball, Fastlap and so on.

As much as it is enjoyed in cocktail recipes, it is pretty much also enjoyed as a replenishing drink with water. 

Let us now get into the most essential part – the best substitutes for Pernod.

9 Best Substitutes For Pernod

The nine best substitutes for Pernod are as follows:

1. Pastis

Pastis is the sibling French liqueur that comes from the same company as that of Pernod. This aperitif has a strong anise flavor and high alcoholic content(45%). Also, pastis is more of a licorice-flavored spirit.

You needn’t be worried about the alcoholic content of pastis while substituting for Pernod. The alcohol won’t bother you or other ingredients in your recipe as it evaporates while cooking. 

2. Absinthe

Absinthe is a Swiss liqueur that is also anise-flavored along with the presence of green anise, sweet fennel and other herbs. It is a highly alcoholic spirit with 75% ABV.

Assuming it had addictive and hallucinogenic properties, it was banned in 1915 (the precursor of Pernod’s birth). A revived version of the same has been available since the early 21st century.

The anise flavor of Absinthe makes it a good substitute for Pernod. The alcoholic content of Absinthe will dry up while cooking. Just a few drops of Absinthe will suffice to replace Pernod in your recipe.

3. Ouzo

Ouzo is another anise-flavored liqueur that can only be made in Greece(EU approved Protected Destination of Origin). It has been cited as a drink that is very closely related to Greek culture. 

Ouzo is a very strong drink that has the flavor of black licorice. It is made using grape must along with added seasoning such as anise seeds, fennel, mint and coriander. 

When ouzo is mixed with water, everything goes all milky and cloudy. This is what is meant by the Ouzo effect. 

Ouzo can be boldly used as an alternative for Pernod due to its anise flavor. It tastes sweeter than Pernod. You may have to either dilute it or add in little amounts.

4. Sambuca

Hailing from Italy, Sambuca is a liqueur that is usually consumed post-meal as a digestif. It is a colorless liquid with a sweet licorice flavor. Like ouzo, Sambuca also goes all milkily crazy when added to water. 

It has an alcohol content of 38%ABV. Black, red and white Sambuca are the varieties of Sambuca that can be used as substitutes for Pernod. Since Sambuca is highly sweetened with sugar, be mindful of the amount you add to your recipes.

5. Anisette

Anisette is a sweet, colorless liqueur made from anise seeds. Anisette also turns cloudy when added to water. This is the reason why it is often assumed to be Sambuca.

Holding virtue to the name, anisette has a strong flavor of anise seeds with 25% ABV. But it is heavily sweetened and thus, you might have to watch the amount of anisette you add while replacing Pernod.

6. White Wine

White wine is an alcoholic beverage made using fermented grapes. It has a mild, sweet taste with a citrusy flavor. There are four types of white wine – dry, sweet, sparkling and fortified.

White wine is a versatile ingredient when it comes to seafood recipes. It can render an acidic flavor to your recipes – the stronger the wine, the stronger will be the acidity it gives.

Any type of white wine can be used to substitute for Pernod, depending on your recipe. White wine won’t give you the anise flavor of Pernod. Try adding a few crushed fennel or anise seeds along with white wine for a flavor similar to Pernod.

7. Whiskey

Whiskey is obtained as a result of grain mash fermentation. It has a strong, nutty, bitter-sweet, malty flavor since it is produced from grain mash fermentation. 

Whiskey can be a good substitute for Pernod devoid of an anise flavor. However, if you are looking for a smoky fragrance, tangy flavor and high alcohol content in your recipes, whiskey should be your go-to ingredient.

8. Vodka

Vodka is a distilled alcoholic beverage prepared using fermented cereal grains. It has a strong alcohol content with 55% ABV. Vodka basically has no definitive taste or aroma.

Vodka is available as plain, fruit and herbal and flavored varieties. Plain vodka with added spices or herbs can emulate the flavor of Pernod in your recipes. Vodka is a very commonly used alcoholic drink and therefore, availability isn’t a concern.  

9. Lemon Juice

Care for a non-alcoholic substitute for Pernod? Extract the good-old lemon juice from a lemon pulp. 

Lemon juice can give a sour, tangy flavor to your sweet and savory recipes. For a flavor as that of Pernod, you can use lemon juice alongside fennel or anise seeds.


That was all about the substitutes for Pernod. If you wish to simulate the exact flavor of Pernod, go for anise-flavored liqueur. When out of those, try using whiskey, vodka or white wine with crushed fennel or anise seeds. 

Use citrus extracts, citrus juices, fennel seeds or anise powder if you want the substitutes to be non-alcoholic. Nevertheless, I am waiting to know what worked out the best. Let me know for sure and see you soon for sure!

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