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Majestic Guides: Maison Sassy - reinventing cider

Category: Majestic Guides

​​Maison Sassy: reinventing cider


In Short:
Maison Sassy are disrupting centuries of French tradition with their innovative approach to cider production. From their 18th century château in Normandy, the new generation have a vision to revolutionise the perception of artisan cider.

The history of Maison Sassy

The region of Normandy in northern France is one of the world’s largest areas for apple production. Apple cider, an ancient beverage and Normandy’s signature export, has been made here for centuries. It's been thought that the Celts were fermenting apples to make cider as far back as 3000 BCE, but Julius Caesar’s first invasion of Britain in 55 BCE led to the introduction of dedicated cider apple farmers and more sophisticated orchard care.


While the rest of France is known predominantly for its wines, Normandy’s climate is suited to growing cider apples, and as a result, cider has become a popular product. French cider, known in France as cidre, must contain 100% fruit juice, in stark contrast to the UK cider where a minimum of only 35% fruit juice is required. 

Normandy was the home of Maison Sassy’s co-founder, Xavier d’Audiffret Pasquier. Since 1852, his family have been producing Normandy Cider in the picturesque Château de Sassy on the edge of the Forêt d'Écouves. Set against the backdrop of the historic 18th century Château, the new generation launched Maison Sassy in 2014, intent on combining tradition and modernity to preserve, promote and improve Normandy cider.

Cider/cidre with a difference

Created to change perceptions of cidre, Maison Sassy’s ethos is all about creating high-quality, authentic, handcrafted products. Their products are all natural, made with 100% pure fruit juice from a complex blend of hand-selected cider apples and pears. 100% locally sourced, from fruit to bottling, their cidre also has a lower ABV and fewer calories than many ciders in the market. This means that the total sugar content in many of their ciders is much lower than other market alternatives. 


Following the Autumn harvest, cider apples, or pears, if making poiré (pear cider), are pulped and pressed to release the juice. The juice is then fermented using yeast which convert the apple’s natural sugars into alcohol. Sparkling ciders may be injected with carbon dioxide to achieve a sparkle, but traditional ciders, with a focus on quality, are often encouraged to undergo a second fermentation instead. Maison Sassy’s cider-production process is designed to produce a cider that is naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.


Maison Sassy’s range includes a variety of products, including small batch cidre, poiré and cidre rosé. They also produce apple juice and Normandy’s famous apple brandy, Calvados. Their products come in a number of styles, from dry to sweet, and blend authentic Norman provenance with contemporary cocktail culture. Their cidre is designed to be a perfect apéritif, wine alternative and important ingredient in many delicious cider-based cocktails.

 Maison Sassy today

Today, Maison Sassy is run by Xavier d’Audiffret Pasquier and childhood friend Pierre-Emmanuel. Marrying family history with modern technology, their vision is to produce cider that is crafted with respect to tradition and creativity in an artisan style. This emphasis on quality has led to the creation of a premium cidre that is free from additives and concentrates with no added sugar, water, or artificial colourings.

Maison Sassy work with a number of creators and collaborators including renowned chefs, mixologists and artists. These professionals champion their ciders in restaurant dishes and cocktail recipes and lend their hand in helping deliver the creative vision of the company.

It’s clear that the focus on high-quality natural ingredients and attentive production processes results in fantastic cider. Unsurprisingly, Maison Sassy have won an array of awards, including Great Taste UK 2020 Winner, an award for Best Organic Cider in the world 2020 and Bartender’s Bar Award for Best Rose Cider in the world 2020.

Try their incredible range now.

Sassy Cidre Brut 5.20%

Sassy Cidre Rosé 3%

Sassy Small-Batch Cidre 5%

Maison Sassy Calvados 40%