9 Best Pernod Substitutes

Pernod is a strong anise-flavored French liqueur. You can drink it on its own or use it in mixed drinks and cocktails such as the pastis and absinthe frappé. It’s also used in cooking, including to flavor sauces and soups.

Have you ever wondered why French fish dishes are so delicious? The answer is Pernod. Pernod has the ability to eliminate fishy odors, hence it is frequently used to prepare seafood dishes.

But if you don’t have it, we can help! We know that sometimes life gets in the way and you just need to find an alternative for your favorite drink. So here are some great Pernod substitutes that will make your taste buds sing with happiness.

What is Pernod?

Pernod is an alcoholic drink that is flavored with herbs and spices, especially star aniseed. It is considered to be one of the main spirits in France. It has gained immense popularity since then because of its unique taste that comes from roasted peppercorns, green aniseed, orange peel, fennel seeds, and star aniseed.

Pernod, in combination, adds two distinct characteristics to your dish: anise and alcohol. Anise works well with meat and fish and alcohol may create new tastes and improve existing ones in a dish.

If you cannot find Pernod, do not despair – we have a list of substitutes for you!

9 Best Pernod Substitutes

1. Pastis

Pastis is a Pernod substitute that is based on anise. It has a strong licoricey flavor and also contains the compound anethole, which gives it its signature taste.

It is quite popular in France as well to drink cold during summertime with water, ice cubes, sugar and mint leaves to refresh oneself. It is very similar to Pernod and other anise-flavored liqueurs.

This drink can also be used as a substitute for Pernod in cooking, especially French dishes.

2. White Wine

White Wine

White wine is one of the best substitutes for Pernod because it contains high levels of tannin, which will give your sauce the same texture, color, and overall flavor.

The alcohol in white wine will also help to mellow out your Pernod-based sauce even more. You can also use red wine, especially a dry one to substitute Pernod in cooking or if you are making pastis frappé.

3. Absinthe

Absinthe is an alternative that can be used to substitute Pernod in cooking. Absinthe has the same licorice flavor as Pernod, but it is much stronger and contains more alcohol than most other substitutes for Pernod.

This is because it’s actually a very strong spirit, which has an alcohol content of about 55% percent.

Absinthe can be used in soups, fish stews, and other recipes that require Pernod. It also comes with the bonus that you won’t have to worry about its taste overpowering your dish.

4. Whiskey


Whiskey, a distilled beverage made from grain mash, is a great substitute for Pernod in cooking. It can be used to make Pernod-based sauces and stews.

Whiskey has distinctive flavors of its own that will not change the taste of your dish. The only downside is that it may add a certain “smoky” flavor to your food. A little bit of white wine may address that, though.

5. Vodka

Vodka is great in soups and stews in place of Pernod because it has similar neutral flavors, but with a distinct taste of its own.

It will add a subtle flavor to your dish, but it will not overpower other ingredients in your recipe. It will not affect the taste of your dish and will blend in perfectly. For example, Vodka can be used to marinate fish and meat.

Vodka is also very versatile and can be used to make classic cocktails, such as the White Russian or Bloody Mary. It’s a drink that you can enjoy neat or mixed with tonic water and lemon for example.

6. Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is an economical substitute for Pernod in cooking, but it must be used with extreme caution.  It will not only change the taste of your dish but can also it’s color slightly.

It is best used to eliminate fishy smells and tastes from seafood and other dishes that require Pernod. Pure lemon juice is much stronger than Pernod, so use it sparingly.

7. Ouzo

Ouzo is an anise-flavored liqueur that can be used as a substitute for Pernod in cooking. It has a similar licorice taste like Pernod and it comes with distinctive herbal notes that are stronger than other substitutes for Pernod.

It is a Greek liqueur and has about 40% alcohol content. You can also use Ouzo in cocktails or to add flavor to fish dishes and seafood stews.

8. Sambuca

Sambuca is another strong licorice-flavored alcoholic drink that can be used as a substitute for Pernod in cooking.

It also has a powerful herbal flavor that is distinctively similar to Pernod. Sambuca has a sweet and pleasant taste that can be enjoyed neat or as a complement to some desserts.

Sambuca is a liqueur made from anise. Sambuca comes in different varieties like black, red, but the most prevalent variety of sambuca is white, which is frequently colorless.

9. Anisette

Anisette is another good substitute for Pernod in cooking because it has a similar licorice flavor. Anisette, however, has a more pronounced flavor of its own than other substitutes for Pernod. It is also sweeter with a distinct almond taste.

Like Ouzo, you can use anise liqueur in different kinds of cooking. You can use Anisette in fish dishes or add flavor to coffee, ice cream, and cakes.

What Does Pernod Taste Like?

Pernod is a very strong liqueur that has a distinctive licorice taste. It is an aromatic and flavorful drink that can be enjoyed either neat or as a component in cocktails, mixed drinks, and other kinds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and desserts.

Pernod has a strong licorice flavor that is much stronger than other French liqueurs. It has a unique taste and flavor that makes it different from other sweet drinks.

Pernod is a type of anise-flavored liqueur with a flowery bouquet and spicy undertones.

How Much Does a Bottle of Pernod Cost?

Pernod is an expensive liquor. It can cost you around $40 for a single bottle of 750ml. This price, however, may vary depending on the types and brands available in your location.

Is Sambuca a substitute for Pernod?

Yes, it can be used as a Pernod substitute in food preparation, particularly if you want a comparable flavor.

Can I substitute ouzo for Pernod?

Yes, you can. Ouzo has a similar flavor as Pernod and it is just as strong too.


This list of substitutes for Pernod should help you find a new favorite drink. Try them all and let us know what you think! Share your favorites with friends, family members, coworkers, or anyone else who needs some guidance in the liquor department.

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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