Product Review: Noble Handcrafted Tonics

I'm usually a basic pantry kind of gal but every now and then I like to treat myself to something a little special to inspire my palate and uplift my spirits. With their boldly designed labels and innovative flavors, the Noble Handcrafted Tonics line of maple syrups and vinegars are just the kind of thing to snag my attention and reel me, helpless, into temptation.
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These 'tonics' are from a company called Mikuni Wild Harvest which sells unique, hand crafted and foraged items to some of the top chefs all over the country (Keller, Batali, Trotter.) Mikuni developed the Noble line as a way to work with small-batch food craftsman who are as dedicated to unique, high-quality and delicious products as they are.

The Noble line consists of two aged maple syrups and three vinegars, each packaged in a heavy glass bottle topped with a thick dollop of white waxy seal. The beautiful packaging combined with their unique, delicious contents makes this an excellent host gift or even just a nice treat for the home cook who feels she deserves a bit of an indulgence.

But what are these tonics and how do they taste?

Noble Tonic 01 is a medium amber grade maple syrup from Quebec which is aged in a Tuthilltown Bourbon charred barrel that imbues the syrup with hints of bourbon and oak. The barrels are then shipped back to the distillery where they are used to create another bourbon, this time aged in the maple syrup soaked casks. $24.95 for 400 ml

Noble Tonic 02 is a maple syrup blended with Tahitian Vanilla Beans and Egyptian Chamomile Blossoms. It is best used with confections, desserts, crepes or even just poured over your pancakes for a special treat. $24.95 for 400 ml.

Nobel Tonic 03 is a maple matured sherry bourbon vinegar, with 6% acidity. Mikuni considers this their most versatile vinegar, a real workhorse. They recommend using it wherever you want to add acid and depth, such as finishing a mushroom sauté or in a Bolognese sauce. I think it would be excellent in chicken with sherry vinegar sauce, as well as in a simple vinaigrette, where its flavor would really come through. $22.95 for 420 ml.

Noble Tonic 04 is called Pharaoh's Heirloom Lemon Matured White Wine Vinegar. It is made with a 5-year oak barrel aged French Orleans White Wine Vinegar and the peel of Egyptian (Pharaoh) Organic Lemons, which are grown near the pyramids and are similar to Meyer lemons. This is a good finishing vinegar, to be used when you want to add a splash brightness (such as in a butter or mignonette sauce) or where you might normally use a lemon. Try it $24.95 for 420 ml.

Noble Tonic 05 XO is a thick, syrupy aged version of No 03. This is a finishing vinegar, full of rich, bold flavors and intense complexity. Like a true balsamic, this vinegar should be used sparingly and only where its flavor will shine, such as brushed on a piece of sautéed salmon just before serving or drizzled over ice cream. $94.95 for 240 ml which, according to the folks at Mikuni, is restaurant-sized. They will be releasing a retail sized potion of 120 ml shortly.

• Right now, the best way to purchase Noble Handcrafted Tonics is through the Mikuni online store but in the near future, look for them on the just announced Gilt Groupe food site.

• For more information on Mikuni Wild Harvest, visit their website.

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us a small sample of the product for testing and review purposes.

Related: Vinegar: Does It Have a Shelf Life?

(Image: Mikuni)

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