Maison SASSY is the new, modern face of traditional Normandy cider.
Founded by Xavier d’Audiffret Pasquier and Pierre-Emmanuel Racine-Jourdren at Xavier’s family home Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the grand ChÃƒÂ¢teau de Sassy in Normandy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ they have preserved the tradition of cider and calvados making since 1852, thanks to Xavier’s family and their love for the terroir.
In Xavier’s own words: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I studied in the UK and saw that cider was really popular, but I couldn’t find a taste I liked. Most of the time the ciders I triedwere super sweet.Ã¢â‚¬Â On returning to France, he knew he wanted to set up his own business.
With his ami Pierre-Emmanuel, they realised there was a high rate of unemployment in Ornes, their birthplace so they felt they wanted to do something that could help to revitalise the local economy.
Making cider was the right opportunity to use the vast quantities of apples harvested in the region.
They now blend around twenty different apple or pear varieties in the ciders, resulting in complex aromas comparable to that of grapes.
The production process is derived from an extraction of the fruit and is free from additives, colouring, sugar and concentrates, even water, ensuring a natural and fresh drink, made from 100% fruit juice and 100% locally-sourced.
The cider is gluten free, and because of the natural ingredients, it is also low calorie (from 38kcal per 100ml) which is an added bonus for those watching the calories of course.
We had the opportunity to join an introductory evening at Folie, in London’s Golden Square. Over canapes, we tried this new on the market French cidre and really enjoyed it, on its own (particularly the rose) but also as a cocktail (the pear goes well with gin).
Despite some Normans drinking it at breakfast, Maison SASSY is recommended as an aperitif; it also pairs beautifully with cheeses and desserts. Having had the opportunity to appreciate Norman cider before, we’re sure it would go really well with a pot of moules too.
An attractive gift box containing three 33cl bottles of Maison SASSY’s range (designed by artist and illustrator Quentin Monge ) is available from Selfridges (London, Manchester and Birmingham) and online via Maison SASSY’S website for a retail price of £28.