Absinthe. La Fée Verte.

About the project

This is the inspiration behind my seventh illustrated cocktail artwork called “Absinthe, La Fée Verte” (The Green Fairy).

This is a brief summary on 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. […]
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:

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.

About the colour palette:
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.

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 ab– means “away” via the word absence, for someone who is absent is “away” from a place.

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



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Maria Montes


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