How, when, and why did you start distilling?
I started distilling in 2016 because I wanted higher quality fruit liqueurs. My first batch, a pure blackberry Eau De Vie made with local blackberries, was the most delicious spirit I had ever tasted. I was hooked from that first distillation. I fell in love with the quality and the process.
As I continued to study, I learned gin was the most diverse of all spirits and about all the ways it can be made. That’s when I realized my purpose: to make a gin bursting with flavor and of the highest quality. I’ve always been a lover of combining flavors, and I could already see so many ways I could contribute to the world of gins. I realized that, if I were able to figure out how to bring my imagination into real life, I would have something that could possibly outlive me—a legacy. I was so excited about the possibilities I could hardly sleep.
When did you found Sipsong Spirits?
I founded Sipsong Spirits in June of 2016 and my first gin, Indira, was released April 2018.
Share a proud professional moment
I just keep having one incredible moment after another. My first was when I let the first person taste Indira. I felt like an artist letting someone see my work for the first time. Most recently, I received a double gold medal for Indira gin from the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This was an incredible validation.
What’s been your biggest challenge in 2020?
Like all of us, there have been many. One is staying motivated with the shelter in place and attempting to assist with distance learning for three young children. Even more challenging was battling back from breast cancer. I was diagnosed in summer 2019, so I’ve really been sheltering since then. I’ve undergone four surgeries, and the last one was a doozie. I’m now almost fully recovered. It’s hard to believe I was able to keep Sipsong going through it all. I have many people to thank for that. Most of all, my husband.
What keeps you grounded?
Mother nature keeps me grounded. As a gin distiller, it’s my job to capture nature at her best. It’s when I’m dreaming and creating gin flavors that I feel most connected to her. This is my highest and best use, and I feel so incredibly lucky to get to bring happiness and joy with what I make.
What beverage is inspiring you right now?
I have been playing with vinegar sodas made by Tim Gleddall in my mocktails, they’re amazing. Also Mad Fritz origin beers are constantly blowing my mind. Late at night, it will be an Alley 6 Rye Old Fashioned for me. I’m inspired by all the incredible makers here in Sonoma County [Calif.].
Who do you admire?
This may sound cheesy, but I admire my husband, Dane Jasper. He’s been an entrepreneur for 26 years. He started his business, Sonic [an ISP] when he was 21 years old.
We’re about to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary and we’ve been together for a lot longer than that.
I admire his dedication and his expertise. He’s a leader in his field, he loves what he does, and he cares so much about his staff and customers. The way he fights everyday for all of us to have access to better, faster, cheaper internet is admirable. I get to see how hard he works and how kind he is, and it inspires me everyday. In the life of a founder/CEO there are no real days off, but if you love what you do you don’t need them.
How does it feel to be one of the Most Admired?
It brings me to joyful tears.
Every ounce of me is grateful to get to do what I’m best at each day. My greatest wish is that everyone gets to have work that fulfills them. My greatest joy is seeing people drinking what I’ve made. My second greatest joy is inspiring and mentoring others to dream big and put their dreams into action.