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Smoke & Mirin

May 28, 2017

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Cheers to the launch of EXS!  The Experience Salon (EXS) concept was developed by Jennifer Diamond Haber, VP of Marketing at Hargrove as a way to bring together interesting, innovative and accomplished event professionals from diverse fields to share a unique connective experience. The inaugural event, hosted by Jos. A. Magnus & Co. Distillery, set “Homegrown Business: Made in the DMV” as its theme. The EXS gathering was designed to connect the best local products and local people in an interactive, shared dining experience.

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Lively conversation was fueled by custom Jos. A. Magnus cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres: Charred Octopus on Salt-roasted Potatoes, Golden Beet Pirouettes filled with Carrot Matchsticks and Goat Cheese, and Curried Goat on crispy Plantain Chips.PSP2065PSP2062PSP2056PSP2084PSP0060-2PSP0001-2PSP0018-2PSP0007-2

In the Magnus tasting room, dinner tables were set with sharing plates of Olli Salumeria Charcuterie, housepickled Vegetable Salad, local Cheeses, spiced Olives and Caperberries, charred Eggplant with Chickpeas and rustic, housemade Breads.

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Guests were encouraged to create their own Vigilant Gin Collins by adding in drops of flavored bitters and syrups.




To accent the aromatics of the Vigilant Gin, guests created an Infused Cucumber Soup by pressing their choice of Peppercorns, Lemon, Jalapeno, Juniper Berries, Mint, Dill and Thai Basil in individual French press coffee makers.PSP2036PSP0040-2Occasions’ owner, Eric Michael, guides the group through the tasty infusing process.PSP0041-2PSP2081PSP0069-2PSP0048-2PSP2079PSP2022For the main course, guests customized the contents of their “Smoke and Mirin” Bento Box to accentuate the smokey sweetness of Bourbon, Saki Vermouth, Campari and charred Orange in the second custom cocktail called, “When Joseph Magnus Climbed Mount Fuji”.

PSP2015PSP2093PSP2094PSP2097PSP2099Charred wood chips in the center of the Bento Box released a delicate char scent and imparted woodsy flavor to the dishes. Guests designed their own Bento Boxes by selecting two proteins: Soy-glazed Barbecue Pork Belly, Lacquered Duck Breast with Asian Pear Slaw, Mirin-glazed Cod with Snow Peas or Seared Tofu with Radish; then adding a vegetable: Asian Eggplant with XO Sauce, Smoked Maitake and Shimeji Mushrooms, Miso Turnips with fire-grilled Shishito Peppers or Stir-fried Broccoli Stems with Black Cargo Forbidden Rice with roasted Plums completing the custom-built box.PSP2101PSP2103PSP2104PSP0044-2PSP2070PSP2111For the sweet finish, a Study of Chocolate and Peanuts included Chocolate-Peanut Crunch Cake topped with whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache; Chocolate-Espresso Granita; White Chocolate and Peanut Ice Cream and warm Dark Cocoa Sauce. It was paired with a “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup” cocktail made with Peanut-infused Royal Seal Vodka, Bourbon and Dark Chocolate Liqueur.


A truly memorable experience was created and lasting connections were made with help from these talented partners:

Quarterly EXS experiential events are being planned for cities outside of the DMV.  For more info, connect with Jennifer Diamond Haber.