8 Best Pernod Substitutes For Delicious Recipes

Pernod adds prominent anise, licorice, and other herbal flavors to dishes. It removes the fishy odor that’s so often troubling for seafood. Famed in French cuisine, Pernod can be expensive, especially if you have to buy a whole bottle for a few teaspoons of use. And you might not get it in your local market. But some Pernod substitutes can do the trick for some random occasions. Here is a list of some of the best alternatives. 

Pernod substitute

Best Pernod Substitutes To Try

Pernod is a sweet and aromatic liquor. Anise and licorice flavors dominate it and there are undertones of fennel, coriander, star anise, and other herbal flavors. Though popular with seafood, you can also use it in making meat or dessert recipes or in a drink. These alternatives can play the same role in your kitchen.

1. Absinthe

This aromatic European liquor tastes very similar to Pernod. Along with anise and licorice, other ingredients like angelica root, juniper, and nutmeg are also included in it. 

This distilled spirit has 45 to 74% alcohol by volume. Due to the high alcohol level, some recipes may require an adjustment. Although, in most cases the alcohol will evaporate during heating and cooking. 

Absinthe is used in several European traditional recipes. Like Pernod, it can be used to cook seafood and remove the fishy aroma. Try Absinthe with oysters, escargot, and even cheese or other desserts. 

Use only two to three teaspoons of it while cooking. Add more only after doing a taste check. 

2. Ouzo

Ouzo is another anise-flavored drink from the same family as Pernod. This dry liquor is very common in Greece. It is made from grapes and distilled in copper stills. The drink is then seasoned with anise seeds and other herbs like fennel, mint, cardamom, coriander, and clove. 

Its alcohol content is between 43 to 45%, which is higher than Pernod. Ouzo can replace Pernod in all seafood recipes. Try it out when cooking oysters or fish. You can also put it to use when making desserts. 

Ouzo is sweeter than Pernod so you’ll need to be careful while adding it to food. Use half the amount as Pernod at first. Then taste the recipe and add more if necessary. 

3. Pastis

This anise-flavored drink is made by the same manufacturer as Pernod. The drink got its name from the French word ‘pastisson’ which means mixture. Pastis has a combination of several tastes and aromas. While star anise and licorice are the prominent flavors, you’ll also taste melissa, sage, and other Mediterranean herbs. 

This spirit pairs well with seafood. Use it when making paella or pasta with fish or shrimp. It has 40 to 45% alcohol. However, the alcohol content reduces on cooking. But remember not to cook it for too long as too much heat can reduce its flavor too. 

Due to the complex flavor of Pastis, start with ¾th the amount as compared to Pernod. Add more only if needed. 

4. White Wine

Using white wine in cooking is a common practice and it finds its place in several recipes and cuisines. You can use dry, smooth, sweet, or any type of white wine in place of Pernod. 

White wine is acidic so it removes the fishy odor. It also enhances the flavor of seafood and meat recipes by adding a sweet and sour taste. 

However, it won’t give food the same flavor as Pernod. You can add crushed anise or licorice separately to the dish to mimic the flavor of Pernod. 

Use it when making quiches, fish, meat, or even desserts. Adding 2 teaspoons of white wine in seafood or meat recipes would do. In risotto, pasta, or similar recipes, use only one teaspoon. 

5. Lemon Juice

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative to Pernod, lemon juice is the best choice. You can use the juice of other citrus fruits, like oranges, too. Lemon juice is a common addition to both sweet and savory recipes. 

While it is used in marinades and tenderizes the meat, it adds a slight tanginess and enhances the flavor of desserts. Also, it adds a fresh, fruity aroma. You can also add it to drinks. However, the flavor will be noticeably different as compared to Pernod. But that’s a price to pay when picking a non-alcoholic substitute.

Lemon juice is acidic so it works the same as Pernod in seafood or meat recipes. It is also rich in Vitamin C. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in meat or seafood dishes. In desserts, only a few drops would do. 

6. Anisette

Anisette is made from distilled anise seeds. So naturally, it has a prominent anise flavor. This colorless liquor belongs to the same family as Pastis and Ouzo. Anisette is frequently employed in cooking in Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries. 

It can replace Pernod in almost all recipes but it is much sweeter. So when adding to seafood, meat, or other savory dishes, use in small amounts. In drinks, you can have it directly or mixed with water. It can also be added to coffee and other beverages. 

7. Sambuca

Sambuca is an anise-flavored Italian liquor. It belongs to the same family as Pastis and Ouzo and can be used in all recipes that require Pernod. 

Usually, you’ll find colorless Sambuca in the market, referred to as white Sambuca. But you can also find black or red varieties. Any of these works well for cooking.

Sambuca is flavored with essential oils derived from licorice, anise, and elderflower. It adds all these flavors to the food along with a nice aroma. This liquor has 38% alcohol content. 

Sambuca is much sweeter than Pernod, so it tastes well in desserts. When using it in savory recipes, start with adding small amounts. 

8. Whiskey Or Vodka

Both whiskey and vodka can work the same as Pernod in seafood recipes. These drinks are made by the fermentation of grains, so they’ll miss the nuanced flavors that Pernod brings to the table. While whiskey adds a sweet and smoky flavor to the food, vodka gives a delicate taste and aroma. 

Add either of these drinks to shrimp, scallops, red meat, seafood sauces, and similar recipes. These liquors taste best when added to slow-cooking dishes. Unlike other substitutes, add them in the beginning to intensify other flavors and aromas. 

What Does Pernod Taste Like? How To Use It When Cooking? 

Pernod is made from the distillates of several herbs including star anise, licorice, fennel, veronica, camomile, coriander, and others. This combination gives it a diverse taste with anise and licorice being the dominant flavors. 

Anethole, an organic compound present in Pernod, gives it a sweet taste. Due to this, it is also added to dessert recipes. When working with seafood, it tastes best in oysters and mussels. 

You can also use it in vegetarian savory recipes like soups and gravies. Use Pernod to make cocktails, or drink it separately. 

Remember that the flavor of Pernod gets reduced when subjected to a high temperature. So either add it slowly to the recipe on slow heat or at the end of cooking. 

Final Words

Pernod is an excellent addition to seafood recipes. But it is also expensive and can be difficult to find. So you can keep one of these alternatives or get them from the store when needed. These Pernod substitutes can replace it in all recipes with a few to no other additions needed. 

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