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Cocktail: The AWOL at Ketchup

The AWOL by Benjamin Mattingly at Ketchup.

March 04, 2011|By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times

Saturday is National Absinthe Day. Don't ask who decides these things (Tuesday was apparently National Pancake Day, for example), but these faux foodie holidays do provide a fun excuse to indulge in a particular food or drink. In this case, you can get jiggy with the Green Fairy (as absinthe is sometimes called), which became legal in the United States nearly four years ago, after being banned in 1912.

A debate has long raged over the possible hallucinogenic effects of wormwood — one of the liquor's main ingredients — but the elusive nature of the drink's buzz has only raised absinthe's profile in the eyes of curious tipplers. If you'd like to try absinthe at home, try shaking up a cocktail named AWOL (Absinthe With Out Leave) created by Benjamin Mattingly of the West Hollywood restaurant Ketchup. If you're not a fan of sweet, we suggest you use unsweetened lemonade.

AWOL by Benjamin Mattingly

1 ounce Lucid absinthe

1 ounce melon liquor

11/2 ounce lemonade

1/2 ounce sweet-n-sour mix

2/3 ounce Sprite

1/3 ounce soda water

fresh lime

Squeeze lime into a cocktail shaker. Add all ingredients except the Sprite and soda water to the shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Float with Sprite and soda water. Garnish with lime.

Ketchup, 8590 W. Sunset Blvd., No. 9, West Hollywood. (310) 289-8590;

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