Andy Mossack samples St. Maur Elderflower Liqueur, a responsibly sourced handcrafted premium liqueur from the heart of England.
You wouldn’t normally associate the county of Warwickshire with fine liqueurs but as we know, there’s always the exception to that rule. And in this case, it’s a very welcome exception. It seems the county has a rich supply of elder blossoms, particularly so in the ancient woodland estate of William and Kelsey Seymour, Earl and Countess of Yarmouth.
It’s some provenance when you can trace your family ancestry back to William the Conqueror and on to Jane Seymour (formerly Jane St. Maur), the third wife of King Henry VIII. And these elders are hand-picked each summer from a grove still growing in the shadows of trees that were perhaps standing tall when Jane walked that very woodland. The Yarmouths first created St. Maur as a special tipple, drawn from handed-down family recipes, for their wedding day celebration at Ragley Hall. It proved such a hit they created it as a full-time family business straight after lockdown.
With such an illustrious backstory, it would be a great shame if this drink didn’t live up to the billing. Fortunately, it does that magnificently. This is a belter of a summer drink, which works neat in the glass over ice or mixed with citrus juice and bubbly water or as a fine Hugoesque cocktail they name Hugo St. Maur.
It’s a liqueur that could easily have fallen into the oversweet trap that befalls many liqueurs but thankfully, St. Maur Elderflower Liqueur dials down the sweetness in favour of a more citrusy base. There are distinct floral notes obviously, but then you get that fabulous citrus hit followed by a lovely long finish of red berries to savour without any hint of bitterness.
The bottle also looks the part, just like a premium drink should. A fat stout bottle that gives full voice to the pinky red liquid inside and carries a synthetic stopper that opens with a satisfying squeak and pop. St. Maur Elderflower Liqueur is so versatile it can be mixed with all kinds of ingredients and there’s a handy list of great recipes on St Maur’s website.
For such a fledgling business, St. Maur Elderflower Liqueur has already won a string of impressive awards, including a 2 Star rating at the International Spirits Challenge Silver Award, silver for ‘Best English Floral 2021’ at the World Liqueur Awards, Gold medal at the Las Vegas Global Spirits Awards 2021.
They’re keen to give back to the environment too, including a commitment to pick no more than 30% of the wild elderflower blossom. As William is quick to point out “We wanted a drink that would capture the spirit of our wedding day. Drawing on old family recipes handed down to us, we created St Maur, and we named it after our family heritage. We also gave it the colour of love.”
The Earl has also learned the art of mixology and launched cocktail masterclasses using St. Maur Elderflower Liqueur, including the brand’s own take on the appropriately named English Martini, made with gin and fresh rosemary.
There seems to be plenty of heart put into St. Maur Elderflower Liqueur, and I think it is a fine example of just what the heart of England is all about. If Warwickshire could show feelings, I think it would be very proud indeed.
Tell me more about St. Maur Elderflower Liqueur
The Spirit of St Maur, Warwickshire, England
St Maur Elderflower liqueur 70cl £37.50