Oh, alcohol. Is there anything you can’t do?
Bringer of elation and sorrow, responsible for the creation of a good chunk of the population, enhancer of meals, cleanser of the palate, fire in the belly, wetter of one’s whistle and, now, a key ingredient in combating the spread of COVID-19.
In response to recent shortages of toiletries and cleaning products, craft distilleries across the province have taken up the fight and are using their excess alcohol to make hand sanitizer.
Although many distillers already have been at it for some time, on March 22 attorney general David Eby gave B.C. distillers the province’s official stamp of approval to temporarily increase production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
East Vancouver’s Odd Society Spirits is one of dozens of B.C. distilleries lending a hand, although their batch is designated for non-profit, frontline organizations that work with the city’s most vulnerable, says distiller Joel McNichol.
Aloe vera, glycerin and ethanol are the building blocks of Odd Society’s sanitizer, but because the ethanol comes from their gin run it’s loaded with botanicals such as lavender, elderflower, rose, orange, lemon and juniper, among others. “So it’s a fairly floral sanitizer,” McNichol says.
He adds that the distillery has plenty of ethanol, but if they’re able to source more glycerin and bottles, they would like to make more.
“I think it’s an important time to be diligent, but I think it’s also an important time to be calm and positive and just do what you can,” McNichol says. “And one of those things is trying to help out in the best way that we can at Odd Society, which is with alcohol turned to hand sanitizer.”
Watch video below:
More info at oddsocietyspirits.com.
—with files from Jeremy Hainsworth