Vinegars And Maple Syrups By Noble Line Of Mikuni Wild Harvest

Vinegars and syrups that have chefs smitten

It's a rather high honor that the one-month-old Noble Tonic has already cemented a place in such top kitchens across the country as Meadowood, Café Boulud, McCrady's, Uchiko and Restaurant Eve.

The clamor is understandable. The force behind this nascent line of maple syrups and vinegars is Mikuni Wild Harvest, a purveyor that has already impressed with its high-quality mushrooms, caviar and other specialty ingredients.

For its Noble Tonic line, the Mikuni folks capitalized on their large Rolodex of food-world contacts: The first creation, Noble Tonic No. 1 ($20), imbues maple syrup from Quebec with hints of bourbon thanks to time spent in barrels on loan from Tuthilltown Distillery.

Our favorite elixir so far is Tonic No. 4 ($20), a vinegary partnership with Rodrick Markus of Rare Tea Cellar in Chicago. Markus supplies Pharaoh's lemons, an heirloom Egyptian citrus, which are used to infuse an aged French Chardonnay vinegar. The result is haltingly spicy, the vinegar mellowed with honeyed acidity.

The future looks bright for the series, which has additional collaborations in the works. We can hardly wait for the Noble Tonic with Charleston chef Sean Brock's stamp, a sorghum molasses aged in Tuthilltown rum barrels.