Jasper encourages all to ‘follow their Sipsong’


The Healdsburg Tribune

By Heather Bailey, Staff Writer, heather@sonomawest.com

Mar 28, 2018

New craft gin distiller goes to market next month

The first thing you notice when you walk into Tara Jasper’s Healdsburg office is the smell. Heady, exotic, floral, spicy, it makes you wish for a sachet of it for your pillow or a soak for your bath.

She pops open a bag of dried botanicals and tells you to stick your nose in and really breathe deep. “Isn’t that amazing?” she says.

Is she making bath bombs? Essential oil tinctures? Those pillow sachets? No. This heady mix of scents is the first step of the distilling process for Jasper’s nascent business as a gin distiller. Bottled under the name Sipsong, the first variety, Indira, will be publicly available in April.

“I’m the founder, distiller; I’m a one woman show. I bottle everything by hand,” she said.

It’s been a bit of a winding road for Jasper to become a craft distiller, but it’s a road she started walking very young.

“I knew I had a particular palate at a young age when my parents couldn’t figure out why I wouldn’t eat the fruit that my mom had cut on the cutting board, “ she said. “I didn’t know how to explain it then, but I realized that that my mom had been cutting the onions and garlic on that cutting board the night before and then she would cut the strawberries on it in the morning and I just couldn’t handle it. I have a very sensitive palate.”

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