A distillery in Maryland is producing its own hand sanitizer amid shortages of the product tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo
March 18 (UPI) -- A Maryland distillery switched production from liquor to hand sanitizer amid shortages of the product stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
Twin Valley Distillers in Rockville announced it is now producing and selling 4-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer for $4 and 8-ounce bottles for $6.50.
The distillery, the only business of its type in Montgomery County, said it quickly received federal approval to make hand sanitizer from a recipe of ethanol, glycerol, aloe vera gel, lemongrass oil and Vitamin E oil.
"I kind of feel like it is wartime. Every company is pitching in to help out," Eduardo Zuniga, the owner and founder of the distillery, told WJLA-TV. "I studied a lot of American history. During World War I, World War II, the American Revolution, the country came together to help out... I told my wife, 'Maybe we should help out. We have a lot of alcohol. Let's do a test run.' So we did a run just to test it, and it came out perfect."
Jonathan Shair, general manager and head of production for Twin Valley Distillers, said the company wants to make sure the hand sanitizer remains affordable.
"We're not out here to make a killing off of the coronavirus. It's not obviously our goal. We're here to fill a need in the community, and if that can help us keep afloat in the meantime, great," Shair said.
The distillery is limiting sales to two bottles per customer to prevent hoarding and price-gouging reselling.