The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Pernod Substitutes

The best Pernod substitutes

If you find yourself in need of a Pernod substitute for your French-style dinner recipe, do not fret. There are several alternatives that can adequately replace Pernod in your dishes. In this article, we will explore the best Pernod substitutes and discuss their suitability for various culinary purposes.

What is Pernod and how is it used?

Pernod is a famous French liqueur known for its distinct anise and licorice flavor. It is often used in French seafood dishes to eliminate the fishy smell and enhance the overall flavor. However, Pernod is not limited to seafood recipes and can be used in a variety of other culinary applications.
When cooking with Pernod, it is important to handle it with care. Unlike wine, cooking Pernod can reduce its flavor and aroma. To fully enjoy the benefits of this flavorful beverage, it is best to add it at the end of the cooking process.

Can Pernod be substituted?

Although Pernod offers a unique flavor profile, it is possible to find suitable alternatives. It is highly recommended that Pernod be replaced with another ingredient rather than omitted from the recipe altogether. Failure to replace Pernod or to find an ingredient that performs a similar function may result in a flavorless dish.
Furthermore, since Pernod is often used in seafood dishes to counteract the fishy aroma, not using a substitute can lead to an unsatisfactory result. It is therefore advisable to substitute Pernod if necessary.

9 best Pernod substitutes

If you are looking for a Pernod substitute, you have many options to choose from. Here are nine of the best substitutes, including anise-flavored spirits and other drinks with similar alcohol content:

  1. Pastis: A French liqueur in the same family as Pernod, pastis offers a comparable flavor profile. It has a similar alcohol content and can be boiled down to complement a variety of dishes. Pastis pairs well with chicken, fish, pork and rabbit, making it suitable for both savory and sweet recipes.
  2. Absinthe: Known as the cousin of Pernod and Pastis, absinthe shares a similar anise flavor. Absinthe is made from a blend of several plants, including anise, fennel and nutmeg. It is often used with seafood dishes and can be used in recipes that require boiling to evaporate the alcohol content.
  3. Ouzo: Originating in Greece, ouzo is an anise-flavored liqueur that serves as an excellent substitute for Pernod. It is made by fermenting grape must and can be flavored with various herbs and spices. Ouzo is often used with seafood, shellfish and in vinaigrettes.
  4. White Wine: Widely available, white wine is a popular substitute for Pernod in many recipes. It is often used in French cuisine, especially in seafood dishes, risotto, pasta and desserts. The acidity of white wine helps eliminate the fishy smell in seafood recipes.
  5. Lemon/Lime Juice: For non-alcoholic alternatives, citrus fruits such as lemon and lime can be used as a substitute for Pernod. While they lack the anise and licorice notes of Pernod, lemon and lime juice are readily available and can effectively enhance the flavor of seafood dishes.
  6. Sambuca: Sambuca, an Italian liqueur, offers a similar anise flavor and is a suitable substitute for Pernod in seafood dishes. It complements the flavor of various seafood recipes and helps eliminate unwanted flavors.
  7. Whiskey: Whiskey can be used as a substitute for Pernod in seafood and red meat dishes. Its distinct flavor adds depth to the recipe and enhances the overall flavor. Jameson Original Irish Whiskey is a popular choice.
  8. Vodka: Another versatile substitute, vodka can be used in dishes featuring shrimp and fish. It adds a subtle flavor and is easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is a popular choice.
  9. Anisette: Anisette, similar to Pernod and Pastis, is a French liqueur with an anise flavor. It can be used as a substitute in dishes with shrimp and other seafood. Anisette provides a pleasant aroma and enriches the taste of the final dish.


When Pernod is unavailable, there are several viable substitutes that can be used to maintain the intended flavor and aroma in your recipes. Whether you choose an anise-flavored liqueur such as pastis, absinthe or anisette, or alternatives such as white wine, lemon/lime juice, sambuca, whiskey, vodka or ouzo, each substitute offers its own unique characteristics that can enhance your culinary creations.
Remember to consider the specific requirements of your dish when choosing a substitute. Some substitutes work better with seafood, while others work better with red meat or poultry. Also, be aware of the alcohol content of your chosen substitute, especially if you prefer a non-alcoholic option.
By exploring these Pernod substitutes, you can confidently prepare your French-inspired dishes without compromising on flavor. So, the next time you’re in the kitchen and come across a recipe that calls for Pernod but don’t have it on hand, feel free to reach for one of these alternatives and enjoy a delicious meal with the flavor and aroma you desire.


Can I omit Pernod from a recipe completely if I don’t have a substitute?

While it is not recommended to completely omit Pernod, you may still proceed with the recipe. However, be aware that the dish may lack the distinct flavor and aroma that Pernod provides.

Can I use non-alcoholic substitutes for Pernod?

Yes, you can use non-alcoholic substitutes such as lemon or lime juice to replace Pernod. While they won’t replicate the exact taste, they can still enhance the flavor of your dish.

Are all Pernod substitutes suitable for both savory and sweet dishes?

Not all Pernod substitutes work equally well in both savory and sweet recipes. Some substitutes, such as anisette or pastis, are more versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes, while others may be better suited to specific types of recipes.

How should I adjust the amount of substitute when replacing Pernod?

When replacing Pernod, it is best to start with a smaller amount of the substitute and gradually increase it to your taste. The intensity of the flavors may vary, so adjust accordingly to achieve the desired result.

Can I use Pernod substitutes in cocktails?

Yes, many Pernod substitutes can be used in cocktails. Experiment with different substitutes to create unique and flavorful cocktails. However, keep in mind that the taste may differ from the original Pernod-based cocktail.

Are there any substitutes that work particularly well with seafood?

Yes, substitutes such as Pastis, Absinthe, Ouzo and Anisette are known to work well in seafood recipes as they can help eliminate the fishy smell and enhance the overall flavor.