While coronavirus has made hand sanitiser exceedingly hard to come by, it’s also given a bunch of local distilleries the opportunity to develop a new product.
Sydney’s Archie Rose Distilling Co has pivoted from its usual line-up of gins and whiskies to make 4500 half-litre bottles of hand sanitiser with grapefruit, cassia, cardamom and thyme botanical gin distillates. The company says it has access to high-grade alcohol, and the switch not only helps to fill the nationwide shortage for hand sanitiser, it keeps staff employed following the government’s closure of bars and pubs to curb the spread of the virus.
“We as a business and team – along with the retail and hospitality industries, and all Australians – are facing incredibly difficult times,” says Archie Rose founder Will Edwards. “We are, however, in a very unique position to manufacture this essential product, leading to the tough but clear decision to divert our spirits capacity to manufacture hand sanitiser.”
The product, which follows the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for safe and effective sanitiser, is so popular that it’s sold out – and there’s now a waiting list, and customers will be sent notifications when new stock is ready. While the original products was bottled in handsome glass vessels, a shortage of bottles means you could receive your sanitiser in a clear or amber PET bottle or a glass bottle. The bottles will cost $20, with a limit of six bottles per person.
South Australian distillery Prohibition Liquor Co is known for its small-batch craft gin – and now its juniper-scented hand sanitiser. “Being a distillery and having access to high-strength alcohol, we decided to make a small batch of our own,” the company announced on Instagram last week. “We’re not in the hand-sanitiser business and don’t intend to be, but we figured if we are going to make it for ourselves, why not make a small batch for the broader Prohibition family?”
You can’t buy the Prohibition hand sanitiser on its own. Each 100 millilitre bottle comes free with a bottle of gin (prices start at $99), which is a pretty fitting purchase for times like these anyway.
Sydney producer Manly Spirits Co has decided to transform its botanical gin alcohol into five-litre bottles of gin-scented hand sanitiser to help local community groups, charities and organisations that have struggled to get supplies. The northern beaches distillery is also selling 100 millilitre bottles in packs of 10. Both sizes are sold out right now, but they should be back in stock on April 8 and available online.
Earp Distilling Co, a family-run distillery that’s been operating in Newcastle since 1883, is also now in the sanitiser game. Demand has been so high it’s had lines of people snaking out its Carrington distillery door. Earp’s liquid sanitiser is made according to WHO recommendations, with 80 per cent ethanol, and is available in two sizes: $40 for one litre and $20 for 500 millilitres. The company is out of stock right now, but it’s working on getting pre-orders and online sales set up so you can buy even if you don’t live nearby.
Finally, Sydney rum makers Brix Distillers is now making liquid hand sanitiser, available in 300 millilitre spray packs (there are also refill bottles in 200 millilitre and 700 millilitre sizes). Sales have been brisk and there are limits on individual orders, but stock is still available.You also get one free if you buy a bottle of rum.
Looking for more to buy? Here’s Broadsheet’s guide to hand sanitisers. Plus the ultra-hydrating creams to repair your dry, over-sanitised hands.