The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Spirits producers switching to hand sanitiser

Spirits producers around the world are using their stills to make hand sanitiser during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

With more than 700,000 people infected with the virus world-wide, the need for hand sanitiser has grown exponentially.

Global giant Bacardi has eight of its manufacturing sites in the United States, Mexico, France, England, Italy and Scotland producing the sought-after gel and CEO Mahesh Madhavan has announced a decision to produce 1.1 million litres of hand sanitiser globally. “It’s our way to step up and support particularly the health workers who are facing a huge crisis at this current point in time,” he said.

Radico Khaitan, owner of Rampur Indian single malt whisky and Jaisalmer gin, will also begin production of hand sanitiser at its Rampur Distillery on a permanent basis to “support ongoing global health care”. The hand sanitiser, made with 80% alcohol, will be supplied to government hospitals, pharmacies and grocery stores in India initially and will then be distributed globally.

Other companies using stills to produce hand sanitiser include Diego, Pernod Ricard and Texas-based vodka brand Tito’s, which has announced they will produce and distribute 24 tonnes of hand sanitiser for donation.

In New Zealand, Good George, CarbonSix, Cardrona Distillery and 1919 Distilling are all doing their part to produce hand sanitiser to those who need it.

“In light of recent situations, we decided to do our part by temporarily suspending gin production in order to produce hand sanitiser,” 1919 wrote on social media. “Today we delivered over 300 free bottles to the community, elderly and the local bottle stores that support us!”

New Zealand currently has more than 600 confirmed cases of COVID-19.