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The 8 Best Substitutes For Pastis

Are you a fan of the French spirit pastis?

If so, you know that it can be hard to find in some parts of the world.

But don’t worry – there are plenty of great substitutes for pastis that will help you get your fix.

From herbal liqueurs to absinthe and even beer, here are eight of the best substitutes for pastis.

Whether you’re looking for something with a similar flavor profile or just want an alternative to mix up your cocktails, these options will do the trick.

What is Pastis?


Pastis is an anise-flavored liqueur from France.

It is made from a blend of aniseed, licorice root, and other spices such as star anise, fennel seeds, or even cardamom.

The mixture is then distilled with neutral grain alcohol to create the finished product.

It has a distinct taste that could only be described as slightly sweet licorice with herbal notes.

The flavor of pastis can vary depending on the type used but it usually tastes like black liquorice with hints of citrus and spice.

Pastis is most commonly served as a digestif after meals because its sweetness helps aid digestion while providing relief from heartburn or indigestion caused by spicy foods.

When served cold, it has a light and refreshing feel which makes it perfect for sipping throughout the day or in social gatherings where friends gather around to enjoy its unique taste together.

In addition to being enjoyed alone or in cocktails, pastis also pairs well with food such as salads, fish dishes, and roasted vegetables – adding complexity to each dish without overpowering them.

The 8 Best Substitutes For Pastis

If you can’t find pastis, here are eight substitutes that will provide the same flavor profile:

1 – Pimm’s No. 1

Pimm’s No. 1

Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur that has been around since the mid-1800s.

It has a unique flavor profile, with notes of citrus, spice, and herbs like mint and cinnamon.

The liqueur is often used as an ingredient in cocktails such as Pimm’s Cup or the classic Pimm’s & Lemonade.

It can also be used to make sangria or added to sparkling wine for a refreshing summer spritzer.

When substituting pastis for recipes such as moules mariniere or boeuf bourguignon, Pimm’s No. 1 provides an interesting twist on traditional flavors while still offering a hint of sweetness and complexity.

In addition to its culinary uses, it can be enjoyed neat or over ice for those looking for something special after dinner!

2 – Pernod


Pernod is a popular anise-flavored liqueur that has been produced in France since the early 1800s.

It is made from star anise, licorice root, and other herbs and spices.

Pernod has a sweet yet slightly bitter taste with subtle hints of citrus and fennel.

The liqueur can be enjoyed neat or as part of a cocktail like the classic French 75.

It can also be used to add flavor to sauces, marinades, and dressings.

For those looking for an alternative to pastis, Pernod makes a great substitute due to its similar flavor profile.

It can be used in many recipes that call for pastis such as moules marinières (mussels cooked in white wine) or even added into drinks like an absinthe frappé for extra complexity.

3 – Ouzo


Ouzo is a Greek anise-flavored spirit that has been enjoyed for centuries. It has a strong licorice flavor and is usually served neat or with water.

Ouzo can be used as an alternative to pastis in a variety of recipes, such as cocktails, sauces, marinades, and desserts.

In cocktails, ouzo adds complexity and depth to drinks like the classic Ouzini or the modern Sour Apple Martini.

In sauces and marinades, it can provide a unique flavor profile which pairs well with seafood dishes like grilled octopus or mussels. Finally, ouzo can also be used in desserts for added sweetness and complexity.

Overall, ouzo is an excellent substitute for pastis that will add unique flavors to any recipe!

4 – Sambuca


Sambuca is an Italian liqueur made from star anise, sugar, and other herbs.

It has a sweet flavor with hints of licorice and coffee.

The most common way to enjoy Sambuca is to sip it neat or on the rocks.

However, it can also be used in cocktails such as a Sambuca Martini or a White Russian.

When substituting pastis for Sambuca in recipes, keep in mind that the latter has a much sweeter taste than the former.

As such, you may need to adjust your measurements accordingly if you want to achieve the same flavor intensity as with pastis.

Sambuca can also be used as an ingredient for sauces or desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta.

Its unique sweetness makes it ideal for adding depth of flavor without overpowering other ingredients.

5 – Ricard


Ricard is a popular anise-flavored liqueur from France. It has a distinct licorice flavor and is often used to make cocktails or as an ingredient in cooking.

The taste of Ricard is similar to that of pastis, but it’s slightly less sweet and more herbal. It also contains fewer herbs and spices than pastis does, making it more versatile for use in recipes.

Ricard can be used in place of pastis for drinks like the classic French 75 or even as a substitute for vermouth in a Martini. In addition, Ricard can be added to sauces or marinades to give dishes an extra depth of flavor.

When substituting Ricard for pastis, you may need to adjust the amount depending on your preference – Ricard is typically stronger than pastis so start with smaller amounts and add more if needed.

6 – Absinthe


Absinthe is a strong, anise-flavored spirit that originated in Switzerland and France.

It has been popularized by its use in classic cocktails such as the Sazerac and Corpse Reviver #2.

Absinthe has a distinct flavor profile due to its high alcohol content (usually between 45% – 74%) and the presence of herbal ingredients like wormwood, fennel, and star anise.

When substituting absinthe for pastis, it’s important to remember that absinthe is much stronger than pastis, so you may need to adjust your measurements accordingly.

In addition to being used in cocktails, absinthe can also be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

It can also be used as an ingredient in food recipes such as steak tartare or crème brûlée.

7 – Anisette

Anisette is a sweet, anise-flavored liqueur that has been around for centuries.

It is made from the distillation of star anise and other herbs and spices, resulting in a unique flavor profile.

Anisette can be used as a substitute for pastis in many recipes, such as French onion soup or bouillabaisse.

It also makes an excellent addition to cocktails like the classic Sazerac or even a simple gin and tonic.

The sweetness of Anisette helps to balance out the strong flavors of other ingredients while adding complexity to dishes.

Its herbal notes can also add depth to desserts like crème brûlée or panna cotta.

If you’re looking for something different than pastis, give Anisette a try!

8 – White Wine

Dry White Wine

White wine is a great alternative to pastis for many recipes and drinks.

It has a light, crisp flavor that can be used in place of the anise-flavored liqueur.

White wine can be used in sauces, marinades, and vinaigrettes to add depth of flavor.

It also pairs well with fish or chicken dishes.

In addition, white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio make excellent replacements for pastis in cocktails such as Kir Royale or French 75s.

For those looking for a non-alcoholic option, white grape juice is an excellent substitute for pastis in both food and drink recipes.

The sweetness of the juice will help balance out any savory flavors while still providing a hint of acidity to the dish.


In conclusion, there are plenty of options out there that offer equally as tasty results.

Some of the best substitutes for pastis are Pimm’s No. 1, Pernod, Ouzo, Sambuca, Ricard, Absinthe, Anisette, and White Wine. All of these substitutes have a similar flavor and can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Experimenting with different types of spirits can add an exciting twist to your drinks and give you a delicious way to explore mixology.


The 8 Best Substitutes For Pastis

If you don't have pastis on hand, don't worry – I'm here to help! In this article, I'm sharing my top 8 best substitutes for pastis that are sure to add a unique flavor to your dishes. From fruity liquors like Aperol and Grand Marnier to herbs like tarragon and anise, I've got you covered no matter what flavor profile you're looking for. So don't settle for an inferior substitute – check out my list and find the perfect ingredient to take your dish to the next level.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American, French
Servings 4 people
Calories 351 kcal


  • Pimm’s No. 1
  • Pernod
  • Ouzo
  • Sambuca
  • Ricard
  • Absinthe
  • Anisette
  • White Wine


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.