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Review Detail

Absinthe Substitutes
Pernod with a really nice tan
(Updated: February 27, 2008)
Overall rating 
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
My preference is to review a pastis as a pastis, not as an absinthe. That said, I will offer comparisons between Ricard and another common, previously reviewed pastis; Pernod.

I use a five-to-one dilution.

The color of Ricard is warmer and richer than the artificial greens you get with some pastis and absinthes. Whereas Pernod is 'antifreeze' green, Ricard is an herbal, earth-tone--like fall leaves. The color of Pernod is loud and annoying; the color of Ricard is...comforting.

The louche is full with much greater character than Pernod. Cloudy yes, but so is Pernod. Ricard retains an opalescence that Kubler (an absinthe) has, but Pernod does not.

Aroma is weak, almost absent. Refreshing compared the jelly bean factory scent of Pernod. Water does nothing to release any more herbal aroma.

Flavor is very strong on the licorice-side as is the Pernod. However, Ricard gets the nod as it is not quite as over-the-top as Pernod. Give Ricard an oh-so-slightly more herbal content.

As with Pernod, adding sugar is overkill. It is plenty (overly) sweet on its own.

The aftertaste of Ricard is like that of Pernod, sweet like sucking on licorice allsorts. Tongue-numbing but not complex. If you find a can of soda or southern 'sweet tea' refreshing, you will also find Ricard refreshing. Dry, fresh, crisp? ...not so much.

I prefer the Ricard to the Pernod but I can't get the Ricard in North Carolina. My supply comes from Louisiana. I give Ricard a 3 as an acceptable, relatively cheap summer refresher: A fine compliment for any pastis. But please don't mistake it for absinthe.
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