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Top 12 Pernod Liqueur Substitutes in Cooking & Cocktails

It might not be possible for all individuals from every corner of the world to procure Pernod for drinking or cooking purposes. In addition, some people may not like the overall flavor of the liqueur.

For these reasons, a Pernod substitute can come into the picture. And I’m going to show you a few replacements you can use for cooking or cocktails.

What Is Pernod Liqueur?

Pernod is a liqueur of French origin created in 1920. The drink came up after the use of absinthe got banned and prohibited in 1915.

Pernod comes with approximately 40% alcohol-by-volume. This makes the liqueur equivalent to well-known alcoholic drinks such as vodka, rum, gin, and whisky.

What Is Pernod Made from

Pernod is made from fennel, star anise, and other botanicals and herbs. Additionally, it lends and delivers a flavor similar to that of licorice when it gets used.

What Does Pernod Taste Like

Pernod provides a potent black licorice or anise flavor. Additionally, it gives subtle tones and notes of various herbs, including mint, coriander, and fennel.


Nonetheless, the overall taste delivered by the liqueur is not too potent when used in appropriate quantities. It ensures that the unique essence and tang of the dishes do not get masked and overwhelmed.

Uses of Pernod

The anise-flavored drink finds application in different and distinct places.

It can get mixed and diluted with water to prepare a beverage or used as a component to make delicious cocktails.

On the other hand, Pernod can get utilized as a cooking ingredient. The liqueur has a unique and particular affinity with most seafood cuisines and dishes.

Furthermore, many people use Pernod to make various cream sauces that go well with fish.

8 Alcoholic Substitutes for Pernod Liqueur

Alcohol by Volume




Anise and licorice roots

White Wine


Grape varieties fermented without skin contact



Star anise, spices



Wormwood, anise, fennel



Essential oils obtained from star anise


At least 40%

Malt, water



Water, alcohol



Aniseed and licorice root extracts, sugar

1. Pastis


Pastis is a French drink having an anise flavor similar to Pernod. It is produced and manufactured by the creator and developer of Pernod.

The beverage has approximately 40%-50% alcohol content. However, its liquor level evaporates when used in cooking.

Pastis helps enhance the distinctive aroma and taste of dishes like seafood pasta or seafood paella.

2. White Wine

white wine

White wine provides a safe and reliable substitute for Pernod in cooking. It stands true irrespective of whether it is smooth, sweet, or dry.

This beverage is popular in a broad scope and category of foods and cuisines spread across the globe.

White wine possesses a highly acidic nature. It can eliminate the undesirable pungent odors associated with meat and seafood.

The drink matches well with pasta, risottos, quiches, and desserts by providing a sour-sweet taste and aroma.

3. Ouzo


Can you substitute Ouzo for Pernod? Why not!

Ouzo is a Greece anise-flavored dry liquor composed of grapes. It’s prepared by distillation in copper stills. After that, the drink gets seasoned with various spices, including coriander, clove, mint, cardamom, and fennel.

The combined taste of all the elements and components becomes a singular aspect. It comes as a part of the cuisine to which Ouzo gets added.

In general, Ouzo is an important ingredient in fish and oyster recipes. It can deliver an anise taste similar to that of Pernod.

4. Absinthe


Absinthe is a spirit of European origin. It comes with mugwort leaves, artemisia absinthium flowers, sweet fennel, and a few herbs as its components. The flavor and taste resemble Pernod closely and in more ways than one.

Absinthe has a high content and percentage of alcohol. However, it evaporates and decreases substantially during the cooking process. It is popular to substitute for licorice spice in traditional European dishes.

Absinthe can be drunk mixed solely with water owing to its exceptionally high alcohol-by-volume content. For that reason, it’s diluted with water substantially to make it fit for consumption.

5. Sambuca

Sambuca is a liquor of Italian origin having an anise flavor. It remains closely associated with Pastis and Ouzo. It can be of the colorless “common” variety or the red and black ones.

The taste and aroma of Sambuca come enhanced owing to various herbs, spices such as licorice, oils such as anise, and elderflower. All these components and elements boost the essence of the dishes and recipes.

6. Whisky

Different types of whiskies are also an excellent substitute for Pernod in cooking. The ultimate taste may differ a bit from that of Pernod. Nonetheless, the flavor it provides is similar. It offers a smoky yet sweet smack and tang.

Whisky makes for a suitable ingredient for numerous seafood recipes due to its pleasant fragrance and taste.

When it comes to cooking, whiskies are primarily used for red meat and smoked dishes. It makes a great addition to Russian and European dishes that take a significant time to cook and acquire its taste.

7. Vodka

orange-flavored vodka

Vodka is suitable for seafood, meat, and pasta sauces. This Pernod replacement provides a delicate fragrance and flavor that intensify the essence and aroma of the dishes.

Furthermore, Vodka can eliminate the dishes’ pungent odor. It suits the cuisines made using scallops, fish, and shrimp.

Vodka can boost and enhance the flavors of the dishes when it’s combined with a few spices and herbs.

8. Anisette


Anisette is an alcoholic drink made using the process of anise seed distillation. In general, Anisette is sweeter than similar beverages as it’s created with high sugar content. This makes its texture similar to syrup.

Anisette makes for an appropriate addition in most dishes and baking recipes.

However, you need to consider its sweetness before cooking. It is necessary to prevent the overall taste of the cuisine from getting ruined. For that reason, tasting the dish at specific intervals is recommended to assess the quantity of Anisette required.

Anisette serves as an essential ingredient in cooking and drinking recipes, especially in the cuisine of various Mediterranean countries.

Non-Alcoholic Pernod Substitutes

1. Lemon Juice

lemon juice

Lemon juice serves as a non-alcoholic Pernod substitute. However, it cannot replicate the unique licorice and anise taste of the liqueur.

Nevertheless, it will provide a fragrant smell and a sour and sweet tang to your dishes.

Lemon juice helps to enhance the flavor of different and diverse savory meals, desserts, drinks, and salads. Moreover, it has a high content of Vitamin C that proves beneficial for the body.

Lemon juice makes for a cost and budget-friendly substitute to Pernod. It’s effortlessly available and present in almost all households. It can help modify and prepare specific dishes for those who cannot drink alcohol.

If lemon juice is not available, you can still find similar alternatives, such as orange juice.

2. Fennel Seed Extract

Fennel seed extract made by soaking the seed overnight and taking out the juice has a flavor similar to Pernod. But it takes a significant amount of time to prepare.

Nonetheless, it’s necessary to use it in this form because the raw seeds do not provide the required taste and benefits.

Fennel seed extract is essential in most baking mixtures and recipes to enhance the taste and aroma of the dishes.

3. Citrus Juice

citrus juice

Citrus juices made of clementine, oranges, and mandarin make for another non-alcoholic substitute for Pernod.

They are helpful to fight the pungent seafood odor and add a mild sour and sweet flavor to the dishes.

Citrus juices are amazing to boost the unique taste of each cuisine without overwhelming the innate tang and smack.

4. Anise Powder

anise powder

Suppose an individual wants only the anise flavor of Pernod in their dishes. Then, anise powder serves as the best choice for the job.

A small quantity of the substance can deliver a potent taste. That is why you should use anise powder in moderation to prevent over-seasoning.

Final Words

Pernod substitutes come in many varieties. Some are similar to Pernod as one can get, while others are topped with other non-alcoholic liquids that make them more like juice.

The bottom line here is that these substitutes give people the taste they want without worrying about buying Pernod.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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