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I ran across a recipe (bouillabaisse) that calls for pastis, but grocery stores in my area don't carry pastis. Is there a substitute for pastis? Thank you!

  • Dear all, a reminder: if you have an idea what to use, please post it as an answer, or not at all. Comments are not suited for that. – rumtscho Jan 29 at 12:45
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Yes. In recipes like bouillabaisse, Pernod, Ouzo, Sambuca, or Ricard would all work as substitutes. Basically, almost any anise-flavored liqueur will work, although you might steer clear of high-alchohol ones like Raki.

If your local liquor selection is really poor, then maybe either skip it entirely, or add 1/4 tsp ground anise seed to the recipe and some dry white vermouth.

  • I've looked, but none of the four substitutes you mentioned (Pernod, Ouzo, Sambuca, or Ricard) are in stock at grocery stores in my city... – thefarseer Jan 29 at 0:06
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    Are you visiting grocery stores that carry liquor? I don't know where you are, some places you need to go to an actual liquor store. – FuzzyChef Jan 29 at 0:49
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    I'd steer clear of raki entirely, unless you know exactly which raki it is. Different countries use the name for completely different drinks. – Tetsujin Jan 29 at 10:08
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    True - in Sri Lanka, raki is fermented coconut water! – James McLeod Jan 29 at 21:22
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    This doesn't help answer the question, but just in the interest of general accuracy, Ricard is a brand of pastis; it's right there on the label: Ricard Pastis de Marseille. And Pernod is arguably pastis as well - that is, if you're referring to Pernod (Classic). Pernod now (that is, again) makes absinthe as well, which might be a good substitute for pastis, though it's much higher in alcohol. – Juhasz Jan 29 at 22:23
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You could make cacciucco instead, which is similar but from farther down the coast (Viareggio/Livorno in Tuscany). Both dishes make use of local fish though, so I would expect that to be a bigger problem than finding pastis.

  • One can make cioppino or whatever fish soup then. I don't see how this answers to the question. – Alchimista Feb 5 at 10:34
  • Yes you can. My point was only that these (similar) recipes depend so much on local ingredients that you can't replicate them exactly anyway. So why not follow a similar recipe without pastis? – S. Tollefsen Feb 5 at 16:24
  • I see now. It mostly relies on the fresh fush available. – Alchimista Feb 6 at 8:51

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