Best Anise Extract Substitute (Alternative and Replacement)

If you like to add an extract of the plant to your desserts, you will not miss the anise plant because it gives an incredibly delicious aroma that you will become addicted to.

Anise extract is one of the more popular extracts on the market.

They are used to make excellent desserts and certain baked and cooked dishes.

However, there may sometimes be a shortage of anise extract in the market due to demand.

In that case, you don’t have to worry.

We will give you the best ideas for useful substitutes for anise extract.

What Is Anise Extract?

Anise is a plant that originates from the Eastern Mediterranean region and parts of Asia.

It has been known since ancient times, even in the time of the ancient Greeks, who used it to sweeten wine.

Today it is a popular drink in many parts of the world.

Anise extract is a flavor obtained from the plant’s essential oils, also known as anise or Pimpinella anisum.

It is a perfect addition to dishes, and the taste is incredible.

What is Anise Extract Good for?

It gets its characteristic sharp flavor from anethole, a compound found in licorice root, fennel, and star anise, all of which have a similar licorice flavor.

You can enjoy the flavors of this unique plant by adding its extract to cakes, pies, frostings, tea cakes, or muffins for an exotic taste twist.

It also adds a unique richness and complexity to beverages, cakes, ice cream, and other popular desserts.

Plus, using it to make teas and even liqueurs like absinthe or sambuca is not out of place.

Now that you know what anise extract is, let’s tell you some of its best alternatives to make your dish tasty. Keep reading!

Healthy Benefits Of Anis

A great feature of anise is that it has many health benefits. Some of them are:

It helps prevent aging and diabetes due to the large amounts of antioxidants and vitamins A and C it contains

It improves digestion and relieves cramps from a lot of potassium and magnesium.

It helps treat common diseases like cough, flu, and stomach ache because it contains thymol, anethole, and terpineol.

It increases the neurochemical levels of GABA in the brain due to the abundance of B vitamins

Worth mentioning, for centuries, anise has been used to treat many other health problems, such as indigestion and runny nose, appetite stimulant, and as a diuretic.

Anise seeds are packed with nutrients and can also reduce symptoms of depression.

Best Anise Substitutes

If you don’t have Anise at home, here are the great alternatives you will like from now on.

Anise Oil

It is safe to say that anise oil is the closest to anise extract because it is naturally obtained from anise seeds.

It is a colorless or very pale yellow liquid that can be an excellent substitute for anise extract in cooking.

Its use is wide, for example, it is used to flavor candies and desserts, and it also has health benefits, so it is good against coughs.

Use only 1/4 teaspoon. of anise oil for 1 teaspoon of anise extract.


Pernod is a popular French liqueur made from a combination of licorice-flavored spices such as anise, fennel, and star anise. It has a strong and slightly sweet taste.

Pernod is a great choice if you ever need to substitute anise extract when baking.

Keep in mind that Pernod is an alcoholic drink, so be careful with the amount you put into your dish.

Anise Seeds

Anise seeds originate from the region of the Eastern Mediterranean and Southwest Asia.

It is believed to have been first cultivated by Egyptian breeders. The seeds are actually the dried oblong schizocarps of the anise plant.

It is important to know that star anise seeds and anise seeds are not the same, although they share similar flavors and essential oils.

Star anise is stronger than anise seed, so you’ll want to use ½ teaspoon of anise seed as a substitute for one whole star anise.

Anise seeds should not be exposed to extreme heat or cold and should be stored away from light.

It is preferable to store it in a closed, airtight container to prevent moisture and maintain freshness.

Licorice Extract

Licorice extract is also a good alternative to try.

It is made from licorice root and is an excellent option for flavoring desserts, candies, and other food products.

Its flavor is mild, although it is commonly found in gin, stout, and even some types of tobacco.

The most popular type of licorice liqueur is Anisette, especially in Mediterranean countries. It is good for baking and adding flavor to creamy salad dressings.

Licorice Liqueur

Licorice liqueur has a long tradition among lovers of anise extract. If it is not currently on the market, try this delicious alternative.

The result is a strong flavor that can be strange but quite pleasant. After all, dare to try something new.

It has a surprisingly mild taste and is often enjoyed with coffee or espresso-based beverages.


Sambuca is a very popular Italian liqueur with a unique taste and is remarkably reminiscent of aniseed. It is an equally good alternative for drinks and food.

When using Sambuca as a substitute for anise extract, it’s best to use one to two tablespoons since that amount is enough for your meal.


Pastis, a French aperitif flavored with anise, is an interesting addition in place of anise extract in seasonal soups, sauces, and marinades.

2 spoons are enough to have a satisfactory amount of this aroma in your dishes. Pastis contains star anise, fennel, and other herbs that give every dish a rich flavor.

Add creativity to the kitchen, so try Pastis Liqueur in fish, seafood, and chicken dishes.


Raki is a Turkish alcoholic drink made from aniseed and distilled grapes.

The taste is similar to sambuca and pastis, so if you don’t have these alternatives, try Raki, and you’ll be thankful you tried a new taste.

Use 1 tablespoon of brandy for every teaspoon of anise extract, and serve it in savory seafood and mezze.

Herbs de Majorca

Bring a little Spanish flavor into your kitchen!

Herbs de Majora is another good alternative to anise extract as it combines different healthy herbs, anise, and aromatic herbs like mint, rosemary, orange, chamomile, fennel, and lemon.

It is excellent as a digestif after a meal so it can become a good and healthy habit for you every day.


Absinthe is a well-known French alcoholic drink that can also be a good addition to baking and cooking.

Absinthe has a sweet taste similar to fennel. Take one teaspoon of anise extract with 1 to 2 tablespoons of absinthe and enjoy this specific but delicious drink.

Vanille Extract

If you want the mildly sweet taste of anise extract, then vanilla extract can be a foolproof substitute for anise extract.

Best of all, you may already have Vanilla Extract in your kitchen.

For information, vanilla extract is a solution made by maceration and percolation of vanilla beans in a solution of ethanol and water.

It is a delicious essential ingredient in many Western desserts, especially baked goods such as cakes, cookies, brownies, and cookies, as well as custards, ice creams, and puddings.

Star Anise

A spice that is extremely popular in many Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines and is made from the star fruit of an evergreen tree is star anise.

It is known for its sweet licorice flavor, usually combined with other spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.

The preparation is easy, I recommend you grind or crush some star anise and mix it in.

Add as much as you like for the desired flavor, maybe even a little less, as it has a stronger flavor than standard anise extract.

Anise Spirits

Another good alternative to anise extract is anise spirits, but it is slightly sweeter, unlike the original anise extract.

Therefore, you can take additional aniseed alcohol in the desired recipe.

Make sure you add a moderate amount, as it is alcohol.


It is one of the most popular liqueurs from Spain and was created in 1911 when 300 growers decided to find the Alcoholera de Chinchon cooperative.

This sweet or dry anise-flavored alcoholic drink is made in copper stills from the distillate of macerated green anise in a combination of water and natural alcohols of agricultural origin.

Sweet Chinchon Anise has earned a reputation as one of the best anise drinks on the market, making it perfect for enjoying anytime.


Ouzo, the national spirit of Greece, is a clear-colored liqueur made from grape must with a very intense anise flavor.

Ouzo and anise can contain other spices like fennel, cinnamon, or cardamom.

Its flavor resembles other aniseed spirits such as pastis, sambuca, rakı, and arrack.

It is best to drink it with ice cubes. But, if it is not from distilled water and is crystal clear, it can change the composition. Keep that in mind!


Aguardente is a distilled spirit that contains between 29% and 60% alcohol by volume.

It originates from the Iberian Peninsula and is usually consumed there.

It is made from sugar cane and aniseed.

Unlike other drugs, it has a high percentage of alcohol. You can drink it on any occasion, every day or at some celebrations.

It resembles brandy in Turkey, ouzo in Greece, pastis in France, or sambuca in Italy.


Mastika is a sweet liqueur produced from mastic resin from the Greek island of Chios, which is distilled after hardening to crystals.

Sugar is usually added. It is a sweet liqueur that is suitable for consumption after a meal.

As for the taste, it has a slight aroma of pine or cedar that is collected from the mastic tree.

What is specific about this liqueur is that it will have a bitter taste for the first few seconds, but then it turns into a refreshing bubblegum with a taste that most resembles the smell of a pine forest on a winter’s day.

The more you chew, the more the wrinkle experience.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are the dried seeds of the fennel plant and look like cumin seeds, only greener. They taste like anise and have a warm, sweet aroma.

You can eat it on its own or in combination with spices such as Chinese five-spice powder and Indian panch phoran.

They give curries, soups, bread, desserts, and drinks a specific aroma.

In some parts of the world, it is common for people to chew plain or candied fennel seeds after a meal because it improves digestion.

Unlike anise, fennel seeds are less sweet and have a milder flavor. But it’s still a great alternative.


Jagermeister is a German digestif made from 56 herbs and spices. It is recognizable by its green glass bottle, and the recipe has not changed since its inception.

It has a predominantly herbal and complex taste, mostly thick and syrupy, with strong notes of anise or black licorice.

Jagermeister is also known to contain bitter orange, cloves, and star anise. This makes it an excellent alternative to aniseed.

It is even good for health, but in moderation, of course. After dinner, it helps calm the stomach and digestion.


Herbsaint is a brand of anise-flavored liqueur primarily a substitute for absinthe.

It originates from New Orleans, Louisiana, and is currently produced by the Sazerac company.

It’s an original recipe from 1934, deep greenish brown, the flavor is deep and rich licorice character, not too sweet, and surprisingly alcohol-free despite being 100 proof.


Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several species of trees in the genus Cinnamomum.

It mainly serves as an aromatic spice and additive in various cuisines, sweet and savory dishes, breakfast cereals, snacks, bagels, teas, hot chocolate, and traditional foods.

Cinnamon has another purpose besides eating.

Extracts from the bark and the leaves, flowers, fruits, and roots of the cinnamon tree have also been used in traditional medicine worldwide for thousands of years.

It is used in cooking and baking and is added to many foods.

When can you use cinnamon instead of anise?

If you want to replace the sweetness and spiciness of star anise, you can replace it with cinnamon.

Five-spice Powder

Five Spice Powder is a five-spice powder that is mostly popular in Chinese cuisine, but you can also find it in Hawaiian and Vietnamese cuisine.

The five flavors of spices actually refer to the five traditional Chinese elements.

It’s a powder of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds.

Substituting star anise is best. Star anise is one of the main ingredients in Chinese five-spice powder, including cinnamon, fennel, pepper, and cloves.

To get the measurement right, use the substitution ratio: For 1 whole star anise, use ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder.

Final Thoughts

Many spices can sweeten or salt a certain dish, but anise and all its alternatives that we have listed provide a unique experience and pleasure.

We hope that we have at least narrowed down your choices when it comes to anise substitutes. It is up to you to choose what suits your taste best.

Be creative, try all these spices, and judge what works best for you.

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