Pernod Ricard has history dating back to 1804 when Maison Pernod Fils was founded in eastern France by Henri-Louis Pernod. Pernod Fils original product was the anis-flavored liquor absinthe.
Due to increased demand for absinthe in France and abroad, in 1871 and 1872 two associated, yet rival distillery businesses opened bearing the Pernod name.
Due to changing laws in France, absinthe was banned in 1915. Undeterred, Pernod Fils introduced pastis - recreating a similar taste without the banned wormwood.
In 1926 all three distilleries merge to form Les Établissements Pernod.
In 1932 Société Paul Ricard is founded in Marseille by Paul Ricard. The primary product was also pastis.
Due to the Vichy regime pastis was banned in 1940 though this was repealed in 1944.
Pernod Ricard was formed in 1974 with the merger of Pernod and Ricard. Once this merger was completed, Pernod Ricard undertook a large diversification drive where in 20 years the company acquired Austin Nichols (Bourbon), Ramazzotti (Bitters), Irish Distillers (Irish whiskeys), Orlando Wyndham (Wine) and Havana Club (Rum).
The acquisitions continued, with Pernod Ricard also investing in various gin (Larios), vodka (Wyborowa) and brandy companies.
Also, in 2005 Pernod Ricard made the ambitious acquisition of Allied Domecq which brought many aditional brands under Pernod Ricard control. However, due to competion laws many brands of Allied Domecq had to be sold to Fortune Brands in order to avoid a monopoly situation.
These moves throughout its history has positioned Pernod Ricard as the third largest world beverage group, and holding leading positions in Irish Whiskey, Anise Spirits, Cognac and Brandy markets.