7 Best Substitutes for Pernod You Should Know

Are you fond of French Seafood dishes? Have you ever wondered why French seafood is divine in taste and unique in characteristics? Well, it is due to Pernod; Pernod- licorice is an anise-flavored drink, which is often used for cooking seafood dishes.

Pernod contains an incredible flavor and can diminish the fish odor of seafood.

If you want a French-style dinner and want to get the taste of Pernod, it is great. But, many times, we do not have Pernod in our kitchen. What can we do at that time?

Should we quit making the seafood, or should we find an alternative to Pernod? Of course, there is no need to change the plan because Pernod’s numerous substitutes give you the same taste as Pernod.

Here, we are going to discuss 7 best substitutes for people you should know.

Let’s begin with what Pernod actually is!

What is Pernod?

If you are just getting acquainted with Pernod, then you should know that it is a strong anise-flavored and licorice flavor liquor popular and made in France.

It comes in handy with French seafood dishes mostly because you don’t perceive the fishy odor when you combine your seafood with Pernod. It has a fantastic taste when introduced to a dish.

Pernod belongs to the family of alcoholic drinks with a flavor attached to one of those drinks that are distilled as plants.

However, Pernod is always easy to find, but if you ever run out of this liqueur or can’t find it, below is a handful of top-notch, highly recommended drinks that you will substitute for this liqueur.

Suppose you have cooked something finger-licking for dinners, such as a quiche Lorraine, bouillabaisse, or the famous New Orleans Oyster Rockefeller. In that case, you may be wondering what can be used instead of Pernod as this is not always easy to find.

Using Pernod as an ingredient in meals benefits in two ways; the anise flavor and an eyeopener aroma that works well with seafood, meat, and other ingredients. It’ll double up the taste for sure!

Pernod is not limited to French seafood dishes, it can also be used for cooking:

How to Use Pernod?

Pernod is a fun-creating ingredient that is used in many culinary arts around the world. We can use Pernod in different ways, including;

  • Adding it to the liquid for cooking mussels
  • Making chicken fricassee with Pernod
  • Making yummy and scrumptious cream sauces
  • Baking recipes like using “Rum in cakes”.

It is a flavorful alcoholic beverage with 40% ABV, So, you can also use it to make many types of cocktails.

Note: While using Pernod with seafood or meat, to get the most out of it, treat Pernod delicately. You shouldn’t boil it like wine.

Boiling makes it less flavorful and aromatic. To get all the benefits of this flavorful drink, you should add it to the dish toward the end of the cooking process.

Can You Substitute Pernod?

Pernod is an anise-flavored drink that tastes unique, yet it is easy to find its substitute. You can use numerous kitchen items at the place of Pernod, and many of those are cheap, easily available, yet similar in taste.

Thus, skipping the fish due to the unavailability of Pernos is not something wise but not using the substitute is pretty foolish. When you do not use French Liqueur to replace Penod, your dish seems flavorless and tasteless.

Moreover, Pernod is being used in seafood dishes; therefore, it also helps in minimizing the seafood’s foul odor. So, skipping the substitute can leave you in big trouble because eating food with a fishy smell is impossible.

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All in all, you cannot only, but must use the substitute of Pernod to give a flavorsome taste and diminish the odor.

The fun factor is getting the Pernod substitute is not a challenging deal as many of those you can get from your kitchen rack and some from a closed market or store.

7 Best Substitutes For Pernod You Should Know

1: Pastis

Won’t you be pleased to get Pernod’s substitute that is flavored perfectly the same as Pernod? Pastis is an amazing substitute for Pernod as it is produced by the same company as Pernod.

Pastis presents a bundle of lush flavors and aromas that come not only from anise and licorice but also due to the presence of sage and melissa.

The primary flavors come from the star anise and from many other Mediterranean herbs.

Pastis is bottled with a high proportion of alcohol (40 to 45%), but the concentration is significantly reduced when it is used in food that is being cooked.

Pouring a few drops of Pastis is enough to get a distinctive taste and refreshing aroma.


Though alcohol will evaporate when you cook your food, you do not need to buy it if alcohol is banned in your country. Hence, to avoid any trouble, you need to check the local legislation of your country first.

2: Absinthe

Absinthe is another spirit that is an excellent Pernod substitute in flavor and characteristic.

Absinthe is produced after collecting the mix of different plants; it includes hyssop, nutmeg, juniper, funnel, and culinary herb, but Absinthe’s main ingredients are flowers and wormwood leaves.

A high volume of alcohol is added into Absinthe when it is being bottled; thus, before consumption, you can dilute it by adding water into it because

 A substantial proportion of alcohol makes Absinthe’s taste similar to Pernod; therefore, it is considered as a great substitute for Pernod while cooking.

One more thing; don’t get confused by the color of Absinthe as it varies according to the bottling style; commonly, it comes from clear to a really bright green.

Different herbs are added to the bottle to give the color to Absinthe, and artificial colors are often added.

The history of Absinthe is long and complicated: Absinthe has multiple harmful substances that are harmful to health when used frequently; therefore, its use was banned in many countries until now.

Yet, there is not any evidence that Absinthe is more harmful than other spirits.

3: Ouzo

Ouzo is also an adaptable flavored liquor that perfectly replaces Pernod. Ouzo is produced from grapes, and it tastes like dry anise. This Ouzo liqueur has a link from the same family as Pastis and Pernod.

Though Ouzo has a connection more Grease than France, yet you can use Puzu in any recipe of seafood to get the taste of Pernod;

The recipe of this aromatic and tasteful Ouzo varies from company to company. Ouzo is prepared by fermenting the grapes and refined in copper stills; it contains 96% alcohol, but typically, it is flavored with anise seeds, cardamom, clove, mint, fennel, and coriander.

All in all, Ouzo is an incredible alternative to Pernod when you are cooking the seafood as it delivers anise flavor exactly as you get from Pernod; you can add it to any recipes of your choice.

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4: White Wine

White wine is readily used worldwide as a replacement for Pernod. You can use White Wine to make risotto, pasta, seafood dishes, and many yummy desserts.

There is a variety of white wines to use; specific ones are not really important; you can use any among smooth, sweet, and dry.

The color of white wine ranges from yellow to yellow-gold color, and its taste also varies according to the used flavors.

White wine is produced in different ways; the liquor of white wine can be obtained from the fermentation of grape pulp. Primarily green or yellow grapes are used to get the white wine liqueur, but grapes that have darker skin are also great for white wine.

A more quantity of White Wine will make the food acidic, but the high acidity helps to get rid of the unpleasant smell of the fish and other seafood dishes.

 It’s a wonderful substitute for Pernod in meat dishes too.

However, if you demand exactly the same taste of Pernod, it is better to pick any other substitute than White Wine.

5: Lemon Juice  

After presenting you a variety of alcoholic substitutes for Pernod, you may be amazed to know that there is something non-alcoholic substitute as well, Lemon Juice.

If you are non-alcoholic and still want to get the taste of Pernod, Lemon Juice is an absolute alternative.

This ideal ingredient has been used to make desserts, savory dishes, marinate dishes, and even drinks for so many decades.

Though lemon juice doesn’t taste like anise and licorice yet, it is full of Vitamin C, and this Vitamin C makes it the perfect substitute for Pernod. It is the best non-alcoholic substitute on the entire list.

A gentle squeeze of lemon or lime will help you get rid of the foul odor in seafood dishes. You can add flavor to it with herbs and spices like fennel and star anise; just mix and adjust according to your taste.

Moreover, you will find Lemon Juice the cheapest and easily available substitute for Pernod.

6: Sambuca

Sambuca is an Italian-origin liquor that is enriched in anise flavor. Sambuca is available in various forms, but White Sambuca  (colorless) is the most popular type.

The other color types of Sambuca are Black or Red Sambuca.

Sambuca can be used on different cocktails and big meals as it belongs to the same family as Ouzo and Pastis.

The Sambuca liquor is also flavored with essential oils (star anise and green anise) extracted from anise; other herbs and spices (licorice and elderflower) are also used.

7: Whiskey

Whisky is a surprising Pernod substitute for so many users, but it is a good alcoholic replacement for Pernod. It is highly distilled and made by fermentation of grain mash, making it a perfect partner of Pernod.

You can also use it to speed up the cooking process of slow-cooked red meats; it can also be the perfect combination with seafood dishes.

Overall, whiskey isn’t the best Pernod substitute if you solely look for a specific anise flavor. However, if the alcohol content is the concern, it comes as a fair substitute as its ABV is about 40% to 50%.

You can add whiskey at the start or end of the cooking process.

How to Choose a Pernod Substitute?

When you are searching for a substitute for Pernod, you must keep in mind what thing you are going to use it with.

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Sambuca, Absinthe, Puzo, and Pastis, have close characteristics to anise flavor; thus, they are excellent substitutes for Pernod. Hence, when you are looking for a Pernod substitute, consider them as your priority.

  • Closest Substitute: If you don’t care about the distinctive taste, White wine, whiskey, and Vodka are also great alternatives for Pernod flavor.
  • Alcoholic Substitute: If you are looking for an alcoholic beverage, you can go with vodka, whisky, or vine to your dish.
  • Non-Alcoholic Substitute: For non-alcoholic Pernod substitute, Lemon Juice, a mix of different herbs and numerous spices can also opt,

Basically, Pernod is being chosen and substituted for two fundamental reasons:

  • to add taste It is used in cooking dishes and to enhance the flavor.

It should not be surprising as it eliminates all the foul smell of the fishes and many other kinds of seafood and is the best combination in cuisines in many countries.

  • Second, Pernod is poured into the dishes due to its alcoholic nature, and we know Alcohol Adds various flavors to the finger-licking taste in the food. Furthermore, it also adds aroma to your cooked dishes.

Whatever substitute you pick, don’t overdo it. Stay steady and keep tasting your dish to avoid intense acidity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Substitute Ouzo For Pernod?

Ouzo is an anise riched liquor; anise is also a primary component of Pernod. Hence, you can use Ouzo as a substitute for Pernod, and it will deliver you exactly the same flavor as Pernod. Their similar taste often makes it hard to judge whether you have used Ouzo or Pernod.

What Is The Flavor Of Pernod?

The Pernod is of anise flavor and tends to produce the licorice flavor to the dish where it is added. Pernod is most significantly used in seafood dishes.

Is Pernod The Same As Pastis?

Though Pernod and Pastis contain anise flavor, these both vary in their formation.

Pernod is derived from anise and some other aromatic herbs; on the other hand, Pastis contains aromatic herbs, anise, and a few licorice macerated as a spirit base.

Is Pernod Real Absinthe?

People sometimes confuse Pernod with Absinthe and cannot figure out whether both are the same or different.

Pernod Fils was a famous Absinthe brand during the 19th century, but unfortunately, it was banned in 1915. And then the name Pernod Fils became a synonym of Absinthe, giving rise to today’s misconceptions.

The original Absinthe and the original Pernod are different ingredients created from the plant of Absinthe.

Final Words:

Although it’s always nice to cook the most tempting French dishes at home, not every ingredient is available everywhere. You might miss some ingredients and might want to know their substitutes, and one such example is Pernod.

It’s a key ingredient, especially for seafood dishes, but it doesn’t restrict you from recreating these dishes at home with a valuable substitute.

With the above-provided list, you can make your favorite French dishes quite close to the authentic and traditional ones. Although alcoholic and non-alcoholic substitutes are available, alcoholic ones always work the best.

Though all the mentioned substitutes can work great, using white wine is my personal favorite as it always works.

Not every substitute works the same as some are best for Pernod-like aroma, and some other work best for Pernod-like taste. In the end, only a trial and error approach will help you find the best Pernod Substitute for your favorite French dishes.