From aristocracy to mixology for Earl of Yarmouth

A WARWICKSHIRE aristocrat has learned the art of mixology to launch cocktail making master classes using his own brand of elderflower liqueur.

The Earl of Yarmouth, William Seymour, is creating a stir among customers with his St Maur virtual experience which includes the brand’s own take on the appropriately named English Martini, made with gin and fresh rosemary.

St Maur, Earl of Yarmouth, cocktail making masterclasses, Alcester
The Earl of Yarmouth, the mixologist.

Described as ‘a little drop of England’s heart,’ St Maur Elderflower Liqueur has already earned its proud producers, William and his wife Kelsey four prestigious industry awards, including most recently, The Las Vegas Global Spirits Gold Award.

The Earl and Countess of Yarmouth who count among their ancestors Henry VIII’s wife Jane Seymour, established the business in lockdown after first producing the drink uniquely for guests on their wedding day.

William, 28, is the eldest son of the Marquess of Hertford, and grew up at Ragley Hall, his family’s seat since the 18th century. But St Maur signals an exciting new direction for the Earl who is driven by his vision to build not just a livelihood, but a ‘new legacy’ to be proud of for his two sons.

Now the self-taught mixologist is embracing his new skills and is looking forward to passing on his knowledge and passion to others.

St Maur, Earl of Yarmouth, cocktail making masterclasses, Alcester

He said: “I’ve been enjoying cocktails for most of my adult life. Except, of course, until recently I’ve been on the other side of the bar ordering them!  Now that position is switched, and I can’t find myself regretting the move at all.

“It’s a bit like food. If you’re a foodie, which I am, then learn to cook, explore what you like and share what you produce with those you love to be with.  Same applies to cocktails. Whilst with food I have had some training, with cocktails I’m mostly self-taught.

He added: “Since we’ve been marketing St Maur, learning more about the skill and art of making cocktails has been a logical choice and it makes sense for us to bring that expertise in-house. I was the first to step up to the shaker for that!

“When you do get more involved you really get to appreciate the expertise and creativity of some professional mixologists who are out there. There was also a worldwide pandemic going on when we brought St Maur to market, with lockdown in full effect, so we were limited in the extent we could bring a professional mixologist on board, and so a hobby became part of my job.

“I am not a scientist nor a natural chemist, so learning has come to me via taste and personally feeling and trying what works and does not.”

St Maur, Earl of Yarmouth, cocktail making masterclasses, Alcester
William and Kelsey Seymour with their St Maur elderflower liqueur

From the recipe for the liqueur, to the designs on the label, and the name itself, St Maur brings together 1,000 years of heritage and family.

Indeed, provenance is core to the brand’s success. The map co-ordinates on the logo lead to Ladies Wood and an elder grove in the ancient Ragley Woodlands, now cared for by Earl of Yarmouth Estates. Here and in the hedgerows at their family farm in Alcester, in early summer, you’ll find the elderflowers being feverishly harvested by friends and family members.

There’s also a red-legged partridge on the bottle, a bird successfully introduced to England in the 19th century by an ancestor Francis Seymour, the 5th Marquess, and now the brand’s mascot.

St Maur is a contemporary liqueur made to be versatile, built around the same components needed to make a cocktail – a base spirit, a sweet and sour element, flavour and look. It can be enjoyed with all kinds of cocktails, and long drinks, in a simple fizz with soda, tonic or ginger ale, ‘royale’ with champagne, on the rocks, or on its own.


St Maur, Earl of Yarmouth, cocktail making masterclasses, Alcester, English Martini

St Maur’s English Martini. See below for recipe.

William added: “When you have your own award-winning liqueur, you want to see exactly how far it can take you. That started a couple of years ago now for me with St Maur, and the answer: still happily exploring and a long way to go!”

Other recommendations for cocktails and ways to drink St Maur include Fire and Ice; St Maur and Soda; Hugo St Maur; The Laughing Cavalier; Pink Moon; St Maur Soixante Quinze; Royal Mistress; Dandy Partridge; St Valentine’s Sour; The Earls’ Martini and The Can Do Cocktail which was specially created in association with Riding For The Disabled Association.

“ ‘Can Do’ sums up the spirit of the RDA and captures our ethos at Drink St Maur as well,” said William.

To view St Maur’s cocktail recipe suggestions visit here

Further information about St Maur or to enquire about the virtual cocktail master classes, visit here


Cocktail recipe ingredients

St Maur 25 ml

Dry gin 50ml

Fresh sprig of rosemary

This is the ideal recipe for an English English Martini.

Two measures (50ml) of gin, one measure (25ml) St Maur Elderflower Liqueur, a sprig of fresh rosemary.  The ratio 2:1 of gin to St Maur can be adjusted to taste depending on how you like your Martini, sweet to dry.

You may see recipes for English Martini which suggest other elderflower liqueurs, but if you want your English Martini to be English, you can’t get more English than St Maur, from the Heart of England.  The hero in the cocktail is the elderflower, and St Maur has a generous elderflower nose and flavour.

Choice of gin is a matter of personal taste. We recommend choosing an uncomplicated gin, so as not to detract from St Maur’s plentiful elderflower.  Anno gin from Kent works well for us.

Glass Type: Martini glass.

Ice Type: Ice cubes for the shaker.

Method: Call us old fashioned, but we think a good Martini should be shaken, not stirred. We recommend a Parisian shaker (to minimise ice breakage and dilution of the Martini).

Rosemary has a pungent and strong essence, so use a small pinched sprig of fresh rosemary.  Muddle the rosemary at the bottom of the shaker, then fill up the shaker with ice cubes. Add the gin and St Maur, and shake. Strain into an ice cold Martini glass, decorate, and serve.

Garnish: Garnish for appearance and decoration, rather than to add to the mix, so don’t go putting olives in this drink. In the image we have used a rosemary flower.

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