Mulled Wine’s 13 Greatest Star Anise Substitutes

Star Anise is a star-shaped seed pod formed from the Chinese tree Illicium Verum. It is a warming spice with a licorice taste that works well during the harsh winter days.

It is the key component in Chinese five-spice powder and mulled wine, and it is also used in Vietnamese cuisine in savory dishes such as Pho and masala chai, as well as in numerous spice mixes.

So, what happens when you run out of this spice? Is there a good replacement for Star Anise? Learn more in the article below.

The Most Effective Star Anise Substitutes are

  1. Five-Spice Powder from China
  2. Seeds of Fennel
  3. Anise Pods
  4. Cloves
  5. Powdered Licorice Root
  6. Liqueur de Licorice
  7. Allspice
  8. Cinnamon Dust
  9. Tarragon
  10. Chervil
  11. Tarragon Seeds with Caraway Seeds
  12. Fennel Seeds and Ground Anise Seeds
  13. Caraway Pods

Continue reading to learn more about these lovely, warming spices.

Star Anise Substitutes

Chinese Five-Spice Powder

The most applicable substitute for Star Anise that you may already have in your spice cabinet is Chinese Five-Spice Powder, which comprises this seed as well as four other spices, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, and Szechuan Peppercorn.

This is another spice with a warm, licorice-like, spicy taste. Chinese five-spice powder may be used in roasted fish, chicken, and a variety of meat-based recipes.

Naturally, this spice is often used in Chinese cooking to provide warmth and a licorice-like taste. Since this spice combination has a stronger taste, use half the quantity necessary for Star Anise.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are spice seeds with a milder and sweeter licorice-like flavor that are also included in Chinese Five-Spice Powder. They are delicious in warm foods such as soups, stews, curries, and bread preparations.

While the licorice flavor isn’t exactly the same as Star Anise, it may be a good substitute. Instead of one teaspoon of Star Anise, add two teaspoons of Fennel seeds.

Anise Seeds

Despite the fact that their names are extremely similar, they are significantly distinct in both flavor and look.

Anise seeds may originate from trees with the same name, yet they grow in quite different places and temperatures.

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Although the taste of Star Anise seeds is faint and moderate, the flavor of Anise seeds is more robust and intense, and they are incredibly fragrant.

You may use these seeds to enhance the taste of any meal you’re preparing. It makes no difference whether the food is sweet or savory. They’re so flexible that you can even use them to season drinks.


Cloves are a spice with a powerful, bitter-sweet, pungent taste that you will perceive in your recipe. They go well with meat, sauces, many types of beverages (including cider, tea, and cocktails), savory foods, and even certain sweets.

Although while cloves offer a few bitter tones to every recipe they’re in, they also add a sweet flavor. In your recipes, substitute half a teaspoon of powdered cloves for one teaspoon of star anise.

Licorice Root Powder

If you want to add some licorice overtones to your recipes, licorice root is a perfect alternative for star anise. It works particularly well in baked goods, chocolates, and other sweets. Since it already has a sweet taste, it is a well-known natural sweetener.

Its root is well-known for its sweet licorice taste, but it is also a natural cure for lung, renal, and digestive problems. It is also a natural treatment for acne and other skin disorders.

Licorice Liqueur

Licorice liqueur may be used in lieu of Star Anise in baking and cuisine. It’s a simple method to achieve that faint anise taste without having to buy the spice. To acquire that sweet licorice taste, increase the quantity of Star Anise for two teaspoons.


This option, like Star Anise, is a warm and pungent spice that lends an unique and sweeter taste to any meal you’re creating.

Allspice is often manufactured from the dried brown berry of the dioica tree and is one of the more costly spices, therefore if you want to create your own allspice substitute, you may use other spices such as ground cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

The only thing lacking from this spice is the harsh licorice taste, so add a touch of honey when substituting Star Anise.

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Cinnamon Powder

Cinnamon powder is extracted from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree. Cinnamon has a sweet, spicy, woody taste with citrus notes.

This spice may be used in both savory and sweet meals like as cookies, pies, meat, hot beverages such as hot chocolate, tea, and hot cider, soups, and bread. 1 teaspoon star anise may be substituted for 2 teaspoons cinnamon.


Tarragon is a fragrant, green herb with licorice notes and traces of mint, pepper, and vanilla. This herb is used in a variety of cuisines, including sauces, dressings, and meat and fish marinades.

Tarragon has a harsh, licorice taste. As a result, you may add it to your food to improve the taste and add a new flavor.

To get even closer to the peculiar taste of Star Anise, combine 2 teaspoons of Star Anise with 1 teaspoon tarragon or use a caraway and tarragon blend.


This herb is the French equivalent of parsley, and it is a wonderful substitute for star anise since it has a faint licorice taste. It’s most often seen in rice dishes, vegetables, sauces, salads, soups, and stews. While cooking with this herb, try not to overcook it because it will lose its taste.

To be clear, you will not receive the strong anise taste that you often experience with Chervil. Instead, you’ll get licorice hints and a flavor.

Caraway Seeds Mixed With Tarragon

Caraway seeds and Tarragon are an excellent combination for recreating the taste of star anise. Caraway originates from the Caraway plant and has a harsh taste and a strong flavor, so use it sparingly.

Tarragon combined with a mixture of Caraway seeds is a decent substitute for Star Anise in a pinch.

Fennel Seeds Mixed With Ground Anise

This combination is also a good method to replicate the licorice-like taste of Star Anise. Just combine the two and add them to your favorite savory recipes. You’ll receive a sweet but milder taste from the Star Anise spice.

Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds have an earthy, mild flavor with a citrus and pepper aftertaste. They are excellent for imparting a lemony taste to soups, stews, baked goods, veggies, and providing a citrus flavor to fish and meat.

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The taste of caraway seeds is strong and rich. If a recipe asks for 1 teaspoon of Star Anise, use half the quantity of Carraway seeds.


What can I replace star anise with in mulled wine?

Star anise (so named because it is shaped like a star) is normally sweet with a moderate and aromatic licorice taste. Anise seed or fennel seeds are the closest substitutes since they are both licorice-like taste spices.

What can I use instead of anise star anise?

Cloves may be used in lieu of star anise since they provide sweetness as well as bitter qualities to meals. Cloves have a stronger taste than star anise, so use fewer of them.

Can you replace star anise with cinnamon?


If you merely want to replace the sweetness and spiciness provided by star anise, you may use cinnamon. Although it does not have the licorice flavor, it does provide a woody flavor and aromatics to foods.

Can I substitute regular anise for star anise?

Can you use Anise and Star Anise interchangeably? When ground, they may be used interchangeably. Remember that Star Anise has a considerably stronger taste than anise seed. When substituting Aniseed for Star Anise, use twice as much Aniseed.

What else tastes like anise?

Other plants that contribute to anise taste include fennel and licorice. Because of a few chemical elements in common, these three plants have similar scents and tastes.

Why is my mulled wine so bitter?

You must infuse the wine with the spices for it to take on their flavor, but DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL SINCE THIS WILL LEAVE YOU WITH A BITTER AFTERTASTE. The slow and low approach is the way to go.

What is star anise the same as?

Anise seed and star anise are two distinct plants with origins in various regions of the globe. Since they both contain the essential oil anethole, their taste characteristics are similar, albeit star anise is regarded more bitter and herbaceous.

Is star anise the same as allspice?

Allspice is sweeter than star anise and lacks the licorice overtones, although it may be substituted if necessary. When pulverized, it emits fragrant aromas reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

What can I use instead of anise or fennel?

Caraway seeds, please! Caraway seeds have a similar peppery, faint black licorice flavor: they’re in the carrot family, after all! In fact, they’re often utilized in Eastern European cuisine in the same manner as fennel seeds are. It’s an excellent 1 for 1 substitution!

Is star anise like cardamom?

While cardamom is known as the queen of spices, this is the crown gem. To clarify, anise seed is not the same as anise seed. They are only distantly related despite sharing comparable taste components. Star anise is significantly more intense and subtle, and I only keep it on hand.

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