Updated at: 18-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Ever found yourself wondering, “What is Pernod?”

Well, you’re not alone. This premium French liqueur has a rich history and unique flavor that sets it apart.

With a botanical blend primarily of star anise and fennel, Pernod offers an aromatic escape into the realm of distinctive spirits.

Stick around to delve into its originstaste profiles, and ways to best enjoy this intriguing liquor. Let’s get pouring!

History and Production of Pernod

What Is Pernod (1)

Pernod traces its origins back to France, where it was first created and continues to be produced today using a meticulous distillation process and a blend of botanicals that give it its distinct flavor.

Origin and French heritage

Rooted in France’s rich cultural heritage, Pernod echoes the country’s passion for fine spirits. This anise-flavored liqueur owes its origins to Pernod Ricard, a French company born from the merger of two rival businesses in 1975.

Yet, this is not where Pernod’s story begins. Its initial venture centered around absinthe production – a potent alcoholic drink recognized worldwide.

Today however, it is popularly known for its unique blend of star anise and fennel along with 14 other herbs that contribute to its distinctive flavor profile.

Distillation process and botanicals used

Pernod is distilled using a meticulous process that involves the use of various botanicals.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Pernod is crafted through a double distillation process, which helps to extract the flavors and aromas from its ingredients.
  • The main botanicals used in Pernod are star anise and fennel. These are carefully selected for their distinct flavors and aromas.
  • In addition to star anise and fennel, Pernod also incorporates 14 other herbs, including coriander and mint, which contribute to its complex flavor profile.
  • The combination of these botanicals gives Pernod its licorice – like flavor with hints of herbs.
  • During distillation, the botanicals are macerated or soaked in alcohol before being distilled. This allows for the extraction of their essential oils and flavors.
  • The resulting distillate is then diluted with water to achieve the desired alcohol content of 40% Alc./Vol.

Distinctive Features and Taste of Pernod

Pernod Liqueur

Anise flavor and licorice notes

Pernod is revered for its distinct anise flavor and licorice notes. This French liqueur gets its unique taste from a combination of star anise, fennel, and 14 other carefully selected herbs.

The result is a smooth yet vibrant flavor profile that envelops the palate with hints of licorice. Unlike some other anise-flavored liqueurs, Pernod is known for its lightness, making it enjoyable even for those who may not typically gravitate towards this type of spirit.

Whether sipped on its own or used as the base in cocktails and cuisine, Pernod’s unmistakable anise flavor adds a delightful touch to any libation or dish.

Versatility in cocktails and cuisine

Pernod is renowned for its versatility in both cocktails and cuisine. Its distinct flavor adds a unique touch to a wide range of alcoholic beverages and dishes.

In the world of mixology, Pernod serves as a key ingredient in classic cocktails like the traditional French drink called “Le Pastis,” where it is mixed with water and served over ice.

Its licorice-like flavor also pairs beautifully with citrus-based drinks, creating an intriguing balance between sweet and tangy notes.

In culinary applications, Pernod can be used to enhance various dishes, particularly those influenced by French cuisine.

It adds depth and complexity to seafood recipes such as shrimp scampi or bouillabaisse, infusing them with an alluring herbal aroma.

Ways to Enjoy Pernod

What Is Pernod (3)

Traditional serving with water

Pernod, the renowned French anise-flavored liqueur, is traditionally enjoyed by serving it with water.

This classic method of consumption allows the flavors to unfold and creates a refreshing drink.

The combination of Pernod’s distinctive licorice-like flavor and the dilution from water result in a balanced and smooth taste.

By adding cold water to a glass containing Pernod, you can witness the beautiful transformation as the clear liquid turns milky white, known as “louche.”

This ritual not only enhances the aroma but also brings out the complex herbal notes derived from star anise, fennel, mint, coriander, and other carefully selected botanicals.

Whether sipped slowly or enjoyed alongside French cuisine, this traditional way of serving Pernod offers a unique experience for those seeking refined indulgence.

Popular cocktail recipes

  • Pernod Spritz: Mix 2 oz of Pernod with 3 oz of sparkling water, add a splash of fresh lemon juice, and garnish with a lemon twist.
  • Pernod Mojito: Muddle fresh mint leaves in a glass, add 2 oz of Pernod and 1 oz of simple syrup, fill the glass with ice, and top it off with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
  • Pernod Negroni: Combine equal parts of Pernod, gin, and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel twist.
  • Pernod Martini: Shake 2 oz of Pernod, 1 oz of dry vermouth, and ice in a cocktail shaker until chilled. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a skewered green olive or lemon twist.
  • Pernod Sour: In a shaker, combine 2 oz of Pernod, 1 oz of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 oz of simple syrup, and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry or lemon wheel.

Pernod’s unique licorice-like flavor adds depth to these classic cocktails while still allowing the botanicals to shine through.

Experimenting with different ratios or adding other ingredients can help you tailor the taste to your preference.

Enjoy these cocktails responsibly as part of your indulgent experience with this exceptional French liqueur.


In conclusion, Pernod is a French anise-flavored liqueur that boasts a rich history and distinctive taste.

With its licorice-like flavor and versatility in cocktails and cuisine, it has become an essential ingredient in many bars and kitchens around the world.

Whether enjoyed traditionally with water or mixed into your favorite cocktail, Pernod is sure to add a touch of sophistication to any occasion.

Cheers to the timeless allure of this classic French spirit!