One of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic is the food and beverage industry—specifically bars and restaurants. With many restrictions keeping people from being able to gather in these locations, these businesses are hurting. That damage trickles down to those companies that provide the food and beverages to restaurants and bars. Fortunately, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recently announced that authorised distillers are now permitted to produce ethanol-based hand sanitisers, largely because of the nationwide shortage. One company to jump on that opportunity is Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Not only is Tito’s making a hand cleanser, they also plan to give the product away to those who need it most.
The announcement of the hand cleanser actually follows a warning from Tito’s to not use their vodka to make homemade hand sanitiser. Tito’s explains that the alcohol content of their vodka is below the CDC requirements for hand sanitiser, making it ineffective against bugs and germs. “While we advise that you cannot use our vodka as a hand sanitiser, our distillery has been working hard to get all of the pieces in place to begin production on 24 tons of hand sanitiser that adheres to industry and governmental guidance,” says the distillery’s announcement. Tito’s has been busily acquiring the necessary supplies and packaging, as well as testing their formula for effectiveness. Once the hand sanitiser is ready, Tito’s will make it available to those who need it most in their Austin, TX, community.
In addition to the hand sanitiser, Tito’s is also donating $2 million to organisations that are providing assistance to those affected by COVID-19. The first $1 million went to four organisations—CORE, USBG Foundation, Southern Smoke, and World Central Kitchen. These organisations provide financial assistance to help support education for chefs and provide affordable meals to those in need. The second $1 million will go to helping with any new needs that pop up because of the pandemic.