Wayy back 10 years ago in January, I inked 20 4×4″ illustrations of honeybees in traditional Lithuanian clothing, and then painted them in watercolors in March. I called this series “Avilys”, meaning “beehive” in Lithuanian: a meditation on my feelings about being of Lithuanian descent in America. Bees have a special significance in Lithuanian history, and feature prominently in their language and stories. Each bee is unique and depicts an aspect of culture, food, or history!
Avilys 3: Bottom’s up!
Lithuania has two main honey-based alcoholic beverages: midus and krupnikas. Midus is Lithuanian mead: low-alcohol content honey beer made from honey, water, and sometimes grain mash that is allowed to ferment. If you’re looking for something stronger, however, there’s always krupnikas. Krupnikas, also known by its Polish name krupnik, is a stronger liqueur made from honey and a grain spirit base (usually vodka). Allegedly created by Benedictine monks in a monastery outside of Niaśviž, this alcohol was used as a medicinal tincture by Polish soldiers in WWII.