Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Trade Secrets: Tips on dining in and dining out

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

May is Mojito Month. At least that's what the folks at Bacardi Rum have proclaimed. Bacardi says so many people are drinking this Cuban cocktail that grocery stores have seen a run on mint leaves - the key ingredient - along with light rum.

Fortunately, mint is a perennial in my garden, so all I had to do was step outside and snip a few sprigs for this recipe. The result is a drink that smells and tastes of mint, with lime undertones and a hint of the rum. On days when the Queen City gets as hot as Havana, this cocktail should prove a cool and refreshing antidote.

May Mojito

11/2 ounces Bacardi Superior light rum

12 fresh mint leaves

7 ounces club soda

1/2 lime

Splash of Angostura bitters (optional)

2 tablespoons simple syrup*

Put mint leaves in tall glass. Squeeze in juice of 1/2 lime. Muddle (gently squish leaves with handle of wooden spoon to release flavor). Pour in simple syrup, then fill glass with ice. Add rum, then splash of bitters. Top with club soda. Stir well. Garnish with mint sprig and lime slice. Makes 1 drink.

*Make simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup sugar in 1 cup boiling water, then cool.

Rebecca Goodman


Hot date

Celeb chef Jacques Pepin signs copies of his The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin; $14) at Books & Co. (350 E. Stroop Road) in Kettering, 7-8 p.m. today (800-777-4881). Pepin also appears at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood's Rookwood Commons at 7 p.m. Thursday (396-8960).

Learn to cook

Call schools for schedules and fees.

• Cooks' Wares, Shops at Harper's Point, Symmes Township, 489-6400; Marketplace at Settler's Walk, Springboro, (937) 748-4540;

• Cooking School at Jungle Jim's Market, Fairfield, 674-6059;

• Dorothy Lane Market School of Cooking, Dayton, (937) 434-1294; .

• J's Restaurant, Hyde Park, 821-2888.

• Kremer's Market Cooking Classes, Crescent Springs, 341-1067.

• Ridge Market Cooking Classes, Pleasant Ridge, 366-4760.

• Wild Oats, Rookwood Commons, Norwood, 531-8015.

• Williams-Sonoma Grand Cuisine, Kenwood Towne Centre, 793-3445.

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