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These top Sydney distilleries are making hand sanitiser with a spicy, botanical twist

Maxim Boon
Written by
Maxim Boon

While scrums in supermarket aisles over that most valuable of resources, toilet paper, have dominated many headlines, the humble toot roll is not the only sundry panic shoppers have been hoarding. Hand sanitiser is also now in very short supply, but new sources of this much-coveted product are emerging from surprising sources.

Some of Sydney’s top boutique distilleries are using their alcoholic craftsmanship to create sanitiser using the same stills as their drinkable wares, to both help with the ongoing public demand and generate income at a time when small businesses are fighting for survival.

Archie Rose has created a zesty option infused with the same botanicals that flavour its gin. Its first release of the $20 500ml bottle sold out in a matter of hours, but you can sign-up to be notified when the next batch is ready.

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Waiting on the first batch of Archie Rose Hand Sanitiser? We hear you. We as a business and team, along with the retail and hospitality industries—and all Australians—are facing incredibly difficult times which includes today's shutdown of bar service at the Archie Rose Bar in Rosebery, Sydney. This sadly impacts our 20-plus bar and hospitality team. In an effort to bolster supplies nationwide and maintain the employment of as many of our team as possible, we have now re-allocated our spirits production capacity to hand sanitiser, with approximately 4,500 x 500ml bottles available to purchase via the Archie Rose website right now. The product formulation follows the World Health Organisation guidelines for effective and safe sanitiser, while also featuring Archie Rose’s own natural grapefruit, cassia, cardamom and thyme botanical distillates from our gin production. According to our founder, Will Edwards: “We’re in a unique position to manufacture this essential product —with the required federal licences, dangerous goods approvals, access to raw materials and expertise—and so we’re now making hand sanitiser our production focus. We will continue to produce sanitiser for as long as we can, or as long as is required, and this will also support the redeployment of as many of our full time bar staff as possible to assist in filling, packaging and shipping the product.” Pre-order begins now at $20 per bottle with a purchase limit of 6 bottles per person to ensure as many people as possible get fair access to this product. The first batch will leave the distillery this Thursday 26 March. Link in bio. 🙏🧼

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Manly Spirits Co is also producing a gin-based sanitiser, bursting with botanical goodness, and they’ll be giving away one free 50ml bottle of it with every purchase of the distillery’s gins, vodkas, whiskeys or liqueurs.

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Coming soon! It's not quite business as usual here at Manly Spirits Co. Distillery. We've had a number of local charities and organisations contact us in desperate need of sanitiser for their operations. We knew that making hand sanitiser available for these groups was simply our part to play in these crazy times... and what a wild ride it has been!⁠ ⁠ The Manly Spirits Team have spent the last week making this happen, and while there have been some massive hurdles -- like there being a nation-wide shortage of containers -- we have been overwhelmed by the response of our community coming together and offering solutions. ⁠ ⁠ From next week, we will be supplying 20 x 5L containers of hand sanitiser to local community groups and organisation. If you are a local charity or organisation in need, please get in contact with us by emailing ⁠ ⁠ Plus, all of our amazing Manly Spirits customers will receive a FREE 50ml Manly Spirits Hand Sanitiser with Gin Aroma, with every purchase. ⁠ A special thanks to our Brookvale friends, Ecowash Solutions, for donating 5L containers & pumps and making it possible to help our community. ⁠ ⁠ If you have access to 5L dangerous goods plastic containers with a pump, and you want to donate, please also get in contact with us!⁠

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The Surry Hills-based rum masters at Brix Distillers have also developed an alcohol and glycerol-based hand sanitiser. It’s selling it as a handy three-pack for $35 but also giving away a 200ml bottle for free with every purchase. Brix has also released pre-mixed and make-your-own packs to help Sydneysiders glow-up their at-home cocktail game. The Brix mix your own Espresso Martini pack ($42) comes with all the ingredients to make a rum-based variant of the classic evening pick-me-up, whereas its barrel-aged Brix Negroni ($35) comes fully prepared – all you need to do is pour over ice and enjoy.

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