Leith gin distillery suspends production to make hand sanitiser

Leith Gin has appealed for bottles to put it in.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 6:00 am
Karin and Derek are co-founders of Leith Gin.

A Leith-based gin distillery is appealing to the community for help producing free hand sanitiser for locals.

Leith Gin has suspended all spirit production and is now making high strength hand sanitiser for those who need it.

But with limited glassware, co-founders Karin and Derek Mair have asked for help in sourcing bottles to put it in - preferably with pump action tops in order to help the liquid go further.

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The couple have set aside 1000 litres of high-strength alcohol to make sanitiser.

They are following WHO guidelines to make up the sanitiser, with other additions including glycerin and demineralised water.

“It started when we made some up last week for staff covering a gin event in Glasgow, and then some for family and friends,” said Ms Mair.

“But as the situation seems to be escalating so rapidly, it just seems the right thing to do.

Our community supports us, so it’s good to do something for them.”

The couple put out a call for help sourcing bottles on Twitter, and the idea has ‘grown arms and legs’ after it was mentioned by comedian Jo Caulfied.

The Mairs hope to make the sanitiser available in local centres including housing blocks, nurseries and police stations.

As the distillery is not open to the public for health and safety reasons, the company are also asking for ideas and help with distribution.

“We’re also trying to knock up some health and safety labels,” Ms Mair said.

She hopes that a possible tax break announced in the next few days may relieve the company of duties in excess of £35,000 on the 1000 litres of alcohol they are planning to use.

“The sanitiser will be absolutely free. It’s not for sale and not for profit,” Ms Mair said.

“We’ll take the hit.

“It’s very labour intensive but nobody’s buying gin so we may as well do something with ourselves.

“All suggestions of help are gratefully received.”