The Best 6 Pernod Substitutes For Cooking

Some foods, particularly seafood, have an odor that can overpower their natural tastes. The French beverage Pernod is perfect for adding licorice and anise tastes to your food. This drink’s existence explains why.

The most exquisite meals are those from French cuisine.

Due to its distinctive qualities and flavor, it may change the flavor of seafood and get rid of the fishy smell.

What if, for example, you are preparing French shellfish according to a new recipe but you don’t have Pernod on hand? This shouldn’t be a reason for concern or for you to abandon your recipe in the middle of it.

In case of such an occurrence, you can always choose one out of the 6 other substitutes listed in this context. Among them are lemon juice, vodka, whiskey, white wine, absinthe, and pastis.

Substitutes for Pernod

1. Pastis

Pastis is another liquor type with a French origin. It is created by the same manufacturers that make Pernod, explaining why it tops the list of most suitable substitutes for the latter.

The alcohol content in pastis is considered to be high. It ranges between 40 to 45%, reducing significantly after adding it to meals when cooking.

For a distinctive aroma and taste, you are required to add some drops of this drink into the pasta pot as you prepare your seafood pasta or seafood paella.

Evaporation of the alcohol takes place as the food continues to cook. Despite this, pastis remains banned from use in some regions due to its extreme alcoholic concentration. Be keen to enquire about this from the internet or local legislation in your country before buying it to avoid related legal issues.

2. Absinthe

Absinthe is a close substitute for both pastis and Pernod. It can be regarded as the ‘cousin’ of the two drinks. It has a trail of controversies behind it despite being among the finest European liquors.

This drink has multiple flavors acquired from a mixture of different herbs and ingredients such as sweet fennel, leaves, and flowers of Artemisia absinthium.

Most of these ingredients have medicinal effects and they are green, explaining the color found in the liquor.

Some countries in Europe still fancy absinthe and most people prefer a few drops of it to complement their traditional foods’ flavors.

It is highly recommended as a substitute for Pernod and adding one or two spoonfuls of it in your dishes makes the food more savory.

It’s especially recommended for cheeses, escargot, and best of all, oysters.

Despite its usefulness, some countries find its alcoholic content too strong for consumption in meals or otherwise and have since banned its use in those areas. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to check if it’s allowed for purchase or importation in the place you want to use it from. This will prevent you from being on the wrong side of the law.

3. White Wine

White wine is a safe substitute for Pernod liquor. It blends in well with French cuisines and has turned into a key component of most dishes.

Among the meals whose tastes can be highly enhanced by this drink are desserts, seafood, quiches, pasta, and risottos. It adds a sour-sweet aroma and taste to these dishes. The most suitable measurement of white wine in seafood is at least one or two teaspoons. For risottos or pasta, one teaspoon does the trick.

There are three different types of red wine to pick from including sweet, smooth, or dry wine.

The acidity level in the drink increases with the drink’s strength and determines how fast the wine will remove the strong odor present in-game meat or seafood.

If you are out of Pernod during your next cooking session, pour some white wine into your glass and spare some for the pot.

4. Whiskey

This might hit you by surprise, but yes! A few drops or teaspoons of whiskey may be all you need to make your next meal amazing. It falls in this category due to its numerous similarities with Pernod, as they are both strong drinks.

Whiskey has a distinct uniqueness in terms of flavor, especially if it is aged or stored for long.

In most parts of Russia and Europe, whiskey is a common additive to red meats. It works well during slow cooking to give the meat an outstanding aroma and flavor. The liquor has the same effect on seafood. Adding it to the food during the early cooking stages gives it time to evaporate and dry out, leaving traces in the aroma and flavors acquired by the meals afterward.

You can also add it towards the end of your cooking session if you prefer the unique alcoholic taste in your food.

You can also check our selection for the best bourbon substitutes for cooking

5. Vodka

Similar to whiskey, vodka is an excellent substitute for Pernod.

Due to its high price, however, you can look out for more affordable brands and save some money. You can also spare some of your drinking vodkas for cooking purposes, instead of buying a separate bottle.

The aroma produced when cooking with this drink is sweet and strong. This makes it suitable for scallops, fish, and shrimp.

To further enhance the food’s flavor, use it alongside preferred spices and herbs.

6. Lemon Juice

Most of the above-mentioned substitutes have high alcohol concentrations.

This option is among the most alcohol-free choices that you can pick from. The best part is that it is readily available and cheaper than the rest.

It may not offer you the licorice and anise flavor compared to the others, but it has the ability to get rid of the strong smell present in seafood. It also leaves the food with a sour-sweet taste.

You can purchase it readily from the grocery store prepackaged in its juicy form or slice lemon fruit pieces and squeeze them to the measurements you prefer.

Other options in the non-alcoholic category offering similar results are ginger, laurel leaves or powder, anise powder or seeds, and other citrus or acidic fruits.

Final Thoughts

Trying out new foods such as French dishes is a fun way to experiment in your kitchen. The main ingredients may not be readily available when required, forcing you to be innovative and look for suitable substitutes.

While the available options may not give you the exact results as the original ingredient, the meals will turn out well.

With Pernod, the main aim is to get rid of strong odors in dishes such as seafood and the listed substitutes can measure up to the task.

Our team has had a fair share of white wine, and it was voted as the most suitable substitute amongst the others. This, however, should not limit you. Make use of what you have, considering factors such as your budget and the availability of that substitute.

Related: 10 Best Rum Substitutes For Baking & Cooking

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