A SCOTTISH distillery is helping to battle coronavirus by making hand sanitiser – with the world’s strongest gin.
Deeside Distillery makes an 87% gin – more than twice the normal strength of the spirit – at its premises in Banchory, Aberdeenshire.
Now bosses have mixed their Still River Uncut gin with vegetable oil and aloe vera to produce a highly-effective virus killer.
Using spare spirit, the distillery is producing 4,000 bottles to hand out for free to schools, nurseries and food banks in the area.
They hope the move will help address shortages of hand sanitiser. Some people have been making their own hand sanitisers with alcohol – however they will not kill most germs unless they have at least 60% alcohol strength in them.
Liam Pennycook, head distiller, said: “We became aware of the challenges the local schools and nursery were having either sourcing or affording hand sanitiser during this time of heightened national rationing.
“We had left over spirit and using natural products, we created our own hand sanitiser.”
He added: “We are donating over 4,000 units to the local community and both our local primary school and nursery.”
Liam said Still River can be classed as the ‘world’s strongest gin’ which they believe was a Swedish product recorded at 82.5%.
The distillery had to plead with suppliers to send out a batch of aloe-vera as stocks are running low because of the sudden demand for hand sanitisers.
Dave Simmers, chief executive at Community Food Initiatives North East where the distillery donated a thousand units, said: “The vulnerable community groups we support will get a huge amount of reassurance by us giving them the hand gel.
“We provide around 100 food parcels a day throughout the North-east so to be able to include this extra precaution for those that need it is fantastic.”
The distillery launched a 77% gin three years ago but this was overtaken in 2018 when the Swedish distillery, Smögen, released their Strane Ultra Uncut Gin at 82.5%.
Deeside Distillery has now hit back by launching its 87% strength gin.