Pernod's Not in the Budget - Star Anise Extract

I've been wanting to buy a bottle of Pernod for a few years now. A local resto makes mussels steamed in a Pernod-cream sauce which is so heavenly that not a single drop goes uneaten, ever. I can see making all sorts of fish and seafood dishes in a similar broth. But every time I schlep into a liquor store, determined to buy a bottle of Pernod, I leave empty handed. Why? Because, for the life of me, I can't justify spending close to $30 for such a tiny bottle of alcohol.

I finally decided to compromise by making a homemade star anise extract, since that is the dominant flavor in Pernod. The method is simple, and can also be used to make homemade vanilla. Place some star anise in a glass jar (I picked through my bag and used all of the broken pieces since they weren't as pretty), and cover with vodka. Seal the jar, and leave it in a cool dark cupboard, shaking occasionally. After about a month, filter it though a coffee filter. How easy is that?

So far, I've only cooked one small piece of fish with the extract (and some butter), but I can report the flavor was very nice. It would also be lovely in coconut shrimp soup.

I'm sharing this recipe with Real Food Wednesday.


  1. Pretty good stuff! I've made two batches now.

  2. Please please please will someone tell me in so many words whether Pernod has gluten in it?

  3. I'm sorry, the best I can do is google it, like anyone else. I know some people think distillates are by nature, gf, and others disagree. I've only had my homemade version.
    Sorry I can't be of more help.


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