King of Denmark


I’ve been saving this cocktail recipe for a while, even though it contains Pernod.


I don’t remember why I even have Pernod in my liquor cabinet, because I don’t like it. I drank it once in a village in Provence, while sitting on a rooftop watching the sun set. I managed to choke the stuff down because I felt I had to. I wanted that experience, like the times I choked down whiskey in Ireland and Scotland, and Grappa in Italy. But it was awful.

My mother was never much of a drinker for being French, but occasionally she would get out her Pernod, mix it with water, and enjoy it during the summer months. I could hardly get past the smell of the stuff – the pungent anise flavor.

Pernod Absinthe

So the recipe I’d saved, called the King of Denmark I discovered at There is no explanation for the name of the drink. I also have no explanation for why in the world I saved a drink recipe that contains Pernod.

In any case, the cocktail recipe lists Pernod, and also black currant cordial, which I know of as Creme de Cassis. I substituted Chambord, which I figured was just as berry-like, and which I had on hand.


So here’s the original recipe:

King  of  Denmark

8 ounces Pernod Absinthe
6 ounces black currant cordial
20 ounces water

Mix together in a pitcher, and add ice. Sounds refreshing, right?

Before I tell you about this cocktail, I wanted to show you what Pernod looks like, in case you’ve never seen it, so I poured it into a measuring cup. Notice it’s green. So, I was a bit confused, because I remember Pernod as being neon yellow.

I poured it into a glass and added about 5 parts water, which is the classic way to make the drink, and it still looked different. The drink I remember was a cloudy yellow, and looked like it might contain radiation. This stuff was still on the greenish side.

So I did a little research online, and realized that I hadn’t purchased the original Pernod, sometimes called Pernod Classic, or Pernod Paris, or Pernod Ricard. It’s confusing.

Instead, I had purchased Pernod Absinthe, which has a touch of the herb in it that used to be in real Absinthe, which was banned in France in 1915. Everyone thought that the herb caused hallucinations, but it turns out that Absinthe was extremely alcoholic.

I also read that the luminous yellow color was from food coloring, which has since been removed. Here is a photo of Pernod “Classic.”


Here’s something else I discovered. Pernod Classic is 40% alcohol. Pernod Absinthe is 68% alcohol!

Ironically, this King of Denmark drink actually uses the Absinthe version of Pernod, which I had accidentally purchased and have had for god knows how many years gathering dust.

The drink really doesn’t have a pretty color, does it? Probably because it’s a mix of green and pink liqueurs.

Then I made the cocktail with the ratio switched. It was definitely much prettier. but still terrible.


I also added a few raspberries to enhance the raspberriness.


Unfortunately for me, the Pernod flavor was still too strong and pungent for me. And then finding out after the fact that the Pernod I had used was that alcoholic, it’s no wonder I really disliked this cocktail!

I think I’ll quit experimenting with Pernod of any kind.

22 thoughts on “King of Denmark

  1. We’ve all been there! Whenever I see a lovely sounding cocktail that has whisky in it, I cringe a bit, knowing that they could dress it up in a number of ways and I still wouldn’t enjoy it.

    • Actually, my husband has been having some every night. He loves nyquil and cough syrup, so he’s enjoying the Pernod. But I’ll probably never buy it again!

  2. With my recent pantry sweep I thought this was going to be a recipe to use the bottle of pernod (I purchased in an attempt to duplicate a scallop dish from a restaurant–I failed miserably).
    Have you ever had it with scallops? It was a divine creamy sauce but I haven’t a clue beyond that. Maybe with your expertise, (hint, hint…)

    • You know what – now that you mention it, I think I did buy the Pernod to go with some kind of seafood dish. But I had used st. germain in a dish, and then I used Galliano in a dish, and both of those were so terrible, that that’s probably what discouraged me to continue my food and liqueur pairings! I guess I really dislike herbaceous liqueurs!

  3. I am a fan of Pernod–I didn’t realize there was the absinthe version–so I want to try this. I’ll have to see if our ABC stores carry the absinthe version. Thanks for an interesting post–I did reblog.

    • Thank you! Well, some one has to be a fan ofthis stuff! The absinthe version tasted the same to me, but it was about 15 years ago when I last had regular pernod. Get some and please solve this mystery for me!!!

    • Right after the forsythia bloomed, we had three days of snow! Chartreuses is not a favorite of mine either. I’ve had it at one of those Mixology bars. I think I don’t like any herbaceous liqueurs. But I will check out your link!

  4. I kind of like the color. It is always refreshing when I read a post where the outcome was not what was expected. Experimentation is being creative, right?

  5. Maybe you got it as a gift or bought it for a specific recipe long ago. Sounds like pretty potent stuff but adding to it didn’t seem to improve things. I can’t believe you tried grappa but I guess everyone falls for that “oh I should try it” at some point. That stuff reminds me of the jug of “hooch” my father-in-law used to keep under his car. He’d always say “puts hair on your chest & it’s good for your blood”. He lived to be 93 so I guess it worked.

    • I’d rather not live to 93 if I had to have grappa even one more time. I love drinking, but I just don’t like strong drinks, or shots. I’ll stick with wine!

  6. Yay, thanks for posting a “negative” result. :)

    I happen to love anise and licorice flavors so I have often had Pastis on hand at home… do you know it? I was wondering if you might have had that in France, where I was introduced to it there as well. It is a light to medium clear brown color but turns opaque, cloudy pearl or yellow-ish when mixed with water like Absinthe does.

    Anyway, I see you’re going to stay away… à chacun son goût. ;)

    • Absolutely! No one can ever make me drink that stuff again! The last time I had it, it wasn’t brown but neon yellow, and then it gets somewhat milky opaque with water. Pernod is also called Pastis, so that’s probably what you had, and not this horrible Pernod Absinthe. You might have had it more recently, after they removed the yellow chemicals.

      • Ah. I buy the Prado Pastis de Marseille shown here. I should have said that it’s typically served with a small pitcher of water so you can dilute it continually as you like… ridiculously strong-flavored on its own.

        Maybe love of anise is in my blood… my Polish-immigrant grandfather opened a candy company in Milwaukee in the 20s and sold a popular hard candy that you sometimes see today: anise squares.

        Do you like anise seed or star anise in cooking? I recently started making my own five spice powder so plucked the seeds from the star anise, discovering they look a bit like smaller, dark popcorn kernels.

      • thanks! I’ll look into it! and no, i don’t even love fennel. So I think that’s a huge part of it. Hey, as long as there’s wine and gin, I’m good…

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