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Just two weeks ago, Tito's Vodka was warning fans not to use the booze as hand sanitizer, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's because it only contains 40% alcohol, while the CDC says hand sanitizer needs 60%. But on Monday, a representative for the Austin, Texas-based company said Tito's will be making and distributing at least 24 tons of actual hand sanitizer — and giving it away.
"Details are still being ironed out, but this hand sanitizer will be given out for free to the community and to those who are most in need," the statement said.
On March 18, the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau announced that companies with permits to distill spirits can immediately begin producing ethanol-based hand sanitizer.
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Other companies that have announced plans to make sanitizer include brewing giant Anheuser-Busch. "We have a long history of supporting our communities and employees — this time is no different," the company said on Twitter Saturday.
Other distilleries now making hand sanitizer include Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.; Old Forester and Woodford Reserve in Kentucky; Caledonia Spirits in Vermont; and Pernod Ricard USA, which has multiple US locations and makes Absolut Vodka, Kahlua and other products.