ALCESTER’S very own aristocrat mixologist is set to cause a stir among visitors to next week’s Stratford Food Festival.
Earl of Yarmouth, William Seymour, will be demonstrating his skills as well as showcasing his locally made award-winning liqueur during a series of live demonstrations throughout the event.
Running between September 16th-18th, the festival will showcase more than 120 artisan food and drink producers allowing visitors to eat their way around the world courtesy of more than 120 stalls, pop-up bars and demos.
It heralds a first appearance for Lord Yarmouth who is the driving force behind the award-winning St Maur brand.
William, who counts among his ancestors Henry VIII’s wife Jane Seymour, established the business in lockdown with his wife Kelsey after first producing the drink uniquely for guests at Ragley Hall on their wedding day in 2018.
The Earl grew up on the Ragley Estate and is the eldest son of the Marquess of Hertford. But now himself a young father of two, he has stepped away to build a new life for his family as an entrepreneur.
Lord Yarmouth is also embracing his latest role as a self-taught mixologist and is looking forward to passing on his knowledge and passion to others on the festival’s Main Stage between 2-4pm each day.
He said: “I am very excited for the upcoming Stratford Food Festival. It will be the first one in Stratford that I personally will be attending as a vendor instead as a visitor. Given how close it is to us, and the quality of other local goods and produce that will be there, it’s bound to be a packed weekend.
“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 at St Maur. I was the first to step up to the shaker for that!
“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.”
From the flavours of the liqueur, to the designs on the label, and the name itself, St Maur brings together 1,000 years of heritage and a sense of place.
St Maur is the surname used by the Seymour family in medieval times, but by the time Jane Seymour married Henry VIII the name had changed from ‘St Maur’ to ‘Seymour.’ The wild elder blossoms used to make the drink are hand-picked in the Ragley Woodlands, and on William and Kelsey’s farm near Alcester, where the drink is produced.
“We are both from this part of the world,” says William, “we both grew up here and it’s where we choose to bring up our children. So it makes sense that we should create our drink to offer the world a little drop of England’s heart.”
Since its launch in 2020, St Maur has been picking up international awards and acclamation. It was rated the Best English Floral at the 2021 World Liqueur Awards, was awarded a 2 Star Great Taste rating in 2020, and picked up gold at the Las Vegas Global Spirits Awards last year, along with two other international awards. St Maur is at home both on the international stage, and as part of the local food and drink scene.
The free-to-attend Stratford Food Festival is open 10am-8pm on September 16th-18th and further information is available at: https://stratforduponavonbid.co.uk/food-festival/
More about the drink
St Maur is a contemporary liqueur made to be versatile, built around the same four 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.
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.
To view St Maur’s cocktail recipe suggestions visit here