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Apr 17, 2011 02:23 PM

Pernod vs. Ricard?

Can someone educate me on the difference between Pernod and Ricard? I know they're both anise-flavored spirits, but beyond that, I don't know. Much appreciated!

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  1. They are both Pastis'. Pernod is Parisian and Ricard is from Marseille I believe (or is it just 51 that is from Marseille?). Either way I find both too artificially sweet, although Pernod is a dash more herbal. It's really more of a Coke/Pepsi thing though.

    If you're really looking for a great Pastis try Henri Bardouin, much much better and only marginally more price-wise.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Klunco

      And let's just be clear, both of these are one of numerous variations on an anise based theme that is represented around the world in various spirits. Pastis is historically different than absenthe, but these are all part of the same family that include Sambuca, Ouzo, Arak etc. as anise based spirits or spirits that have a pronounced licorice character. There are of course technical differences between many of them (bottled with sweetener or not, where the anise character comes from, does it include wormwood or not....) but these are, at least to me, often more technical than anything. The licorice character that dominates all of these sprits regardless of how they are made or the traditions associated with their consumption dominates the experience on the palette for me.

      It hasn't helped the discussion at all that numerous versions of Absenthe are hitting the market all over the world and clouding the discussion in a haze of wormwood muddled history.

      Laslty, if for no other reason, I like the Granier pastis becuase of the bottle. It just looks like Paris to me.

    2. pernod is absinthe with the wormwood removed. ricard is pastis

      2 Replies
      1. re: thew

        I stand corrected. Thanks thew! I still do recommend Henri Bardouin though in lieu of Pernod or Ricard for an anise based aperitif, but that's personal preference.

        1. re: thew

          Pernod is pastis just like Ricard, Henri Bardouin, and others. Pernod was modeled after their absinthe recipe to become a pastis whereas Ricard was formulated to be a pastis without ever having been an absinthe.

          Pastis is a lower proof (often 80 or so) spirit than absinthe that lacks absinthe's wormwood but contains anise flavors. Pastis can also be sweetened (the 3 above are sweetened, but Pastis d'Autrefois is unsweetened, for example).

        2. Thanks! This is all wonderful info; I'm going to concentrate on finding Henri Bardouin and/or Pastis d'Autrefois, I think. The less sweet, the better.