"Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a saying with classical Roman roots, but was popularized in English in T. H. Bayly’s 1835 poem, “Isle of Beauty.”
“Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder” is an obvious pun, first cited in American English in 1876.
Proverbs: Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Cf. [Propertius Elegies ii. xxxiiib. i. 43] semper in absentes felicior aestus amantes, passion [is] always warmer towards absent lovers.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
[c 1850 in T. H. Bayly Isle of Beauty (rev. ed.) iii.]
These saws are constantly cutting one another’s throats. How can you reconcile the statement that ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ with ‘Out of sight, out of mind’?
[1923 Observer 11 Feb. 9]
Absence may have made his heart grow fonder, but it hasn’t done wonders for mine.
[1992 A. Lambert Rather English Marriage (1993) xi. 178]
In this way you can keep her at bay indefinitely, or at least until such time as her absence has made your heart grow fonder.
[2002 Spectator 9 Feb. 63]
13 October 1835, Phoenix Civilian (Baltimore, MD), Poetry, pg. 1:
ISLE OF BEAUTY, FARE THEE WELL.
What I would not give to wander
Where my old companions dwell
Absence makes the heart grow fonder,
Isle of Beauty, fare thee well.
22 May 1876, Chicago (IL) Inter Ocean, pg. 8:
“Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder,” he excalimed as he poured out a glass of his favorite beverage. His wife wondered how he came to lisp so and called for a sherry shoemaker.
March 1879, Potter’s American Monthly, pg. 240, col. 2:
Of all our English songs, the Frenchman’s favorite is, “Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.”
24 October 1894, Harvard Lampoon, pg. 11, col. 1:
FIN DE SIECLE PROVERBS.
Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.
Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Wormwood Poems
By Mark Begley
Published by Furry Trout Press
Wikipedia: Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
“Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder” is the sixth episode of the Showtime original series Californication. It was written by Tom Kapinos and Eric Weinberg, directed by Ken Whittingham and originally aired on Sunday September 17, 2007.