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WIP | Absinthe

I am working on a new illustrated cocktail piece inspired by the classic French liquor called Absinthe, La Fée Verte (The Green Fairy). This is a brief summary of the origins of Absinthe:

Henriette Henriod, often called “Mother Henriod”, said that she had always been aware of the medical benefits of wormwood. In the second third of the 18th century, she produced an elixir made of wormwood in her hometown in Couvet, Switzerland, which was used to cure various diseases. Major Dubied quickly recognized the rising demand for this elixir, so he bought the recipe, and together with his future son-in-law, Henri-Louis Pernod, he opened the “Dubied Father & Son” distillery in 1798. After a few successful years, Henri-Louis Pernod decided to found his own business. And with the first distillery in Couvet becoming too small, he crossed the borders, and opened the first “Pernod Fils” distillery in Pontarlier, France, in 1805. Since then, Pernod is a name that always will be associated with absinthe.

With the beginnings of the industrial production of absinthe, it was decided, that it was necessary to modify the recipe of the wormwood elixir to satisfy the growing number of customers. The bitterness was reduced through:

– using less wormwood in the recipe
– using more anise and fennel

Read the whole post here.


Absinthe Research

Doing further research on the Absinthe formula, I found this informative post from Wikihow.com. Following their recipe, I began to draw the following ingredients involved in the formation of Absinthe: Wormwood, hyssop (whole plant), Chinese star anise (fruit/flower), anise seeds, fennel seeds, lemon balm, coriander, and thyme.


Absinthe Design Process

The colour palette of this artwork is clearly inspired by the popular Green Fairy name associated with Absinthe.

I wanted to create a glowing visual experience. All the elements of this piece have been vector drawn, except for the green spirit in the glass:


Absinthe Lettering Design

The message of this piece arose from a brainstorming session with colleagues, Tim Allan and Sarah Graham at Rotson Studios. Sarah suggested the idea of replacing absinthe by absence in the popular saying absence makes the heart grow fonder; and Tim added the poetic sentence makes the mind go wander. I loved both ideas so I started working on them straight away.




The reason behind the breaking up of the word ab·sinthe in my artwork lies in the relationship between the meaning of the Latin prefix, ab– and the message of the piece itself.

The English prefix ab-, which means “away,” appears in many English vocabulary words.” You can remember that the prefix abmeans “away” via the word absence, for someone who is absent is “away” from a place.


The sugar cube and flames draw your eyes up towards the lettering surrounding the message.

Absinthe, La Fée Verte, is an illustrated cocktail artwork that glows in the dark and keep us dreaming. Final artwork here.