When natural disasters hit the United States, breweries usually move from canned beer cans to canned goods for those in need. This is a relatively easy change: breweries use water-concrete and already have a ready-to-go canning line. So, similarly, how can distillers help during a virus outbreak? Well, despite the rumors, no, you can’t use vodka as a hand sanitizer; however, there are many alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and since the prevalence of COVID-19 was highly required for hand sanitizing, at least one brand of drinks was offered Alcoholism Provides the alcohol needed to make more: Absolute Vodka.
Over the weekend, Paula Erickson – Communications Director at Absolute in Stockholm, Sweden – tweeted that her company was “happy to help” in terms of manual cleaning needs in the country. “We can serve drinks alone if the recipient authorities can help the rest,” she added. “The absolute wants to contribute to the production of hand sanitizer.” Although Absolut is currently owned by the French conglomerate Perno Ricard, the Swedish vodka brand is still operating in the home distillery field in Sweden.
LMVH and hand sanitizer making
Helen Lowick Thompson / Getty Images
Additionally, Finwire news agency reported that Ericsson said the detergent was already prepared for personal use, and before that, it produced a dry detergent during a swine flu outbreak. Ericsson later stated that she was in contact with the striking Swedish Juvenile Agency as well as with the Swedish Ministry of Health, according to a report on drinks. (However, Erickson hasn’t posted any Tweets to follow in the past two days.)
Importantly, just because Absolut can produce the alcohol needed to make hand cleansers, it is important to remember that Absolut Vodka is not strong in itself for sanitation purposes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-free hand sanitizers must have at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective. Absolute vodka goes to 40 percent of ABV – more than enough for a mixed drink, but not strong enough to save lives.