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Scottish Whisky Makers Now Distilling Hand Sanitizer

  • Posted by: Craig | March 19, 2020

Scottish Whisky Makers Now Distilling Hand Sanitizer

  • Posted by: Craig | March 19, 2020

Distillers in Scotland are using their experience with alcohol production to turn their hands to making sanitiser.

Glasgow, United Kingdom – Scotland’s ability to make (and take in) alcohol such as Scotch whisky might be world-renowned, but Scottish distilleries are today signing up with the fight versus the coronavirus pandemic.

Responding to a global scarcity of hand sanitizer, which has seen barren grocery store racks throughout Scotland and the United Kingdom as demand overtook supply, some Scottish spirit makers have actually begun an unique kind of alcohol production that, just days back, would have been viewed as laughable.


” This concept was not even 24 hours old,” said Andrew Mackenzie, owner of Verdant Spirits, before he decided to switch production from gin to hand sanitiser previously today, following demands from local caretakers in Dundee, eastern Scotland.

Mackenzie, who makes up half of the father-daughter collaboration of Verdant Spirits, told Al Jazeera among the immediate difficulties of this abrupt about-turn included sourcing hydrogen peroxide, which he handled to quickly remedy after posting an appeal for the component on Facebook.

Having initially launched a crowdfunding project in order to cover costs for his emergency venture, he included: “The plan at the moment is that we will be producing a preliminary batch of 400 litres of hand sanitiser today, which requires to rest for a while, so it will most likely be offered early next week.”

Mackenzie’s efforts to improve local production of these quick-drying alcohol-based gels, which he is providing to care homes in Dundee, comes at a time when millions of Britons have scrambled to stock up on medicines and foodstuffs as families enter into lockdown.

Medical specialists have been actively encouraging individuals to keep their hands clean as a method to slow the transmission of the virus which, like influenza, spreads from person to person in close proximity.

The first cases of the illness caused by the brand-new coronavirus, COVID-19, typically characterised by a brand-new consistent cough and fever, began in Wuhan, China, in December, however rapidly infected other parts of the globe, such as Europe and the United States. Many people who become contaminated will recuperate – but deaths have been recorded, mainly among the elderly and those with hidden medical conditions.

In Scotland, other distillation professionals have likewise been aiming to extend a helping hand.

Fiona Walsh of Redcastle Gin, and Lewis Scothern of Distillutions Micro Distillery, both based in Arbroath, on Scotland’s North Sea coast, have joined forces to produce hand gel for their regional community.

” We made our very first batch on Friday and we offered it away on Saturday, free of charge, to the residents most in need,” Walsh told Al Jazeera.

Scothern added that he had the ability to utilize “waste alcohol” that would usually be destroyed in order to make more sanitiser over the weekend.

” We’ve been using glycerine as a moisturising help, some colouring to make it pink and elderflower aroma so that it smells good,” continued Scothern, who explained his switch from making spirits to hand gel as “insane”.

Other difficulties for distilleries wanting to make sanitiser is the existing task that is required to be paid on the alcohol used in the gel’s production.

Yet, Mackenzie, Walsh and Scothern are figured out to do their bit in a time of crisis – even if the long-term expenses of doing so remain a potential barrier to future production.

” We have been granted the agreement to produce the gin for the House of Commons,” said Mackenzie.

” That’s where our focus has actually been for the last couple of months. On Monday early morning I was informed the House of Commons launch was delayed indefinitely [ because of COVID-19], which left me feeling quite flat.”

And now that he is producing hand sanitiser?

“It’s totally strange – however it’s terrific that we can help,” he added.

” That’s where our focus has been for the last few months., which left me feeling quite flat.”

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