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Published April 12th 2020
Looking for WHO-strength hand sanitiser? Well, here it is
You would think it was Prohibition. Except it is not getting alcohol that is the problem. It is getting hand-sanitiser. The more alcohol in a hand sanitiser, the more effective it is. The recommendation being a sanitiser should at least have a 60% alcohol content.
Occasionally, you will find hand sanitisers behind the counters at some chemists if you ask nicely but generally, it is not on the shelves as it once was. Thankfully, sanitiser is at hand. If you know where to look.
In World War II, factories such as plane and automobile factories ended up making ammunitions. Well, it's a bit like that with our distilleries, with many switching from just making alcohol to making hand sanitiser for the foreseeable future. And it might well end up being their biggest seller because, with the government's closure of bars and pubs, distilleries are selling far less of their products than they normally might do.
Here's a state by state guide of the distilleries I found that are making hand sanitiser. Warning: supplies do sell out quickly, so sometimes it means getting your name on their lists. Even though many are working around the clock one of the issues seems to be getting the containers they need.
Collie winery Harris River Estate is making a hand sanitiser based on the formula by Didier Pittet, an infectious disease control expert with the World Health Organization (WHO). At the moment, they are only posting to Southwest regions and neighbouring shires. Check on their website for details. Stock up on wine and beer while you are there.
Wise Wine in Dunsborough, Western Australia has gone into 24-hour production mode to make its new hand sanitiser. With all-natural organic ethanol, their 70% alcohol-based sanitiser is perfect to clean surfaces and hands. It is available for $55 per 750 mL bottle (minimum of 2 bottles – includes shipping – please allow 7- 10 days).
Alternatively, for locals, there is pickup from the Wise Estate for $50 per bottle. Or email email@example.com or call 08 9750 3100 for bulk order inquiries. For their website, click here.
Earp Distilling Co in Newcastle has been so inundated with customers they are now only able to mail out their sanitiser with an online purchase of their spirits. This family-run enterprise will automatically ship you a bottle of sanitiser with your order (while stocks last). Their sanitiser is made with 80% ethanol in liquid form (not gel) to the World Health Organisation standard. For details, click here.
Sydney's Archie Rose Distilling Cowho normally make gins and whiskies are now making hand sanitiser with cassia, grapefruit, cardamom and thyme botanical gin distillates. Their product also follows the WHO guidelines for safe and effective sanitiser. It is so popular they keep selling out, so if you are interested, you should head to their site and go on their waiting list.
In a good news business story when so many businesses are struggling they have been able to re-deploy a number of their bar staff who would have lost their jobs to bottling hand sanitisers. For details, click here.
Manly Spirits has donated 100L of their hand sanitiser to the SES, community groups, charities and schools in their local community. You can't buy it from them in the normal sense but they do give a FREE 50ml Bottle with every 700ml spirits bottle purchased. Just process your order as usual and they will include it in your parcel. For commercial enquiries and large volumes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For the website, click here.
Mr Black does have free shipping on orders over $80 or $10 for under. Their hand sanitiser is priced at $19.95 for a half-litre refill pack, 70% ethanol. They also make a Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur made in Australia from specialty-grade coffee. For the website, click here.
Sydney rum makers Brix Distillers has been accompaning their online orders with a free 200ml bottle of liquid hand sanitiser. Check their Facebook as they also do alerts of when their 300ml bottles of hand sanitiser are back in stock and this can be bought from the Distillery Door shop, where you can also pick up your rum and staples. As mentioned, check first as like everywhere else sanitiser supplies are being snapped up and it is hard for distilleries to keep up with the demand. For the website, click here.
Cape Byron distillery, Brookie's is making a hand and surface sanitiser. The scented sanitiser is made from native rainforest botanicals with the addition of aloe vera and citrus oil. It contains 70% ethanol and costs $14.95 per 500ml bottle from capebyrondistillery.com. When I checked, it was out of stock, so keep an eye on their website for when they restock. For the website, click here.
South Australian distillery Prohibition Liquor Co is known for its small-batch craft gin – it is giving away a small bottle of its juniper-scented hand sanitiser when you buy a bottle of gin (prices start at $99). For the website, click here.
Brisbane Distillery, hand sanitiser is only available for pre-order but the wait times for pick-ups has reduced. This is hospital strength and available in both large quantities and smaller bottles. For details, click here.
Four Pillars Gin, is now making gin-scented handwash. The new aromatic sanitiser also contains aloe vera making it softer on hands. Called Heads, Tails and Clean Hands sanitiser it is priced at $40 per 1-litre bottle. People pre-ordered this and the pre-sale allocation has all been taken up, but they are making a second batch. So if you sign up for emails they will let you know when it is ready. For details, click here.
Hartshorn Distillery, has released a lemon myrtle hand sanitiser, made from 68% alcohol. The sanitiser is available in a 500ml hand-painted bottle for $30. Purchase a bottle of gin, vodka or whey-sky from the website (over $100) and receive a free 120ml hand sanitiser with your order. To buy, check their website.
Brisbane Distillery did take a fair while for my delivery. You can see on their Insta account people complaining about the wait.
Also you have to go to their West End pickup location to collect it, where parking is tricky - within a prearranged 30 minute window.
And it's the consistency of water, not gel - making it harder to dispense without waste or spillage.
Overall it was a disapppointing experience given the ultra-premium price we paid for it.