Gin is the tonic

Elemental Distillers co-owner Ben Leggett. File photo.

Usually, gin sanitises from the inside out – but one Marlborough distiller has turned that on its head.

Elemental Distillers have moved 100 per cent of their production from creating Marlborough Roots Dry Gin to sanitiser.

And co-owner Ben Leggett says the sanitiser, made to World Health Organisation guidelines, will be strictly limited to Marlburians.

“The big emphasis – it’s strictly limited to begin with,” he says.

Stocks of sanitiser have sold out across the country.

“We don’t 100% have it ready to sell but we wanted to get ahead of it,” he says.

Ben says he hopes it will be ready by the end of the week.

“We’ll be quite strict and limited on how it works.”

Low stocks of bottles, pumps and ingredients have made making large amounts of the sanitiser difficult.

“The World Health Organisation posted a recipe and we’re going to be making that exact recipe,” Ben says.

“But the ingredients for the recipe are selling out.

“The whole of New Zealand has sold out [of sanitiser] because of the demand.”

Ben says they will be selling the sanitiser as refill packs and encouraged customers to save their old pump containers.

Just over half of every distilling run doesn’t make it to the bottle, but the 80 per cent proof alcohol makes a perfect sanitiser, he says.

“When you distil gin, you separate it to cuts,” he says.

Called the heads, hearts and tails, distillers want the best part – the heart of the run.

“Every distiller decides at which point those pieces are.

“We will make a public announcement when product is available. There is no waiting list so please do not request pre orders.

“The situation is still very fluid and we are working hard to expand production nationally.

Ben says they will post regular updates via social media.

“We’ve got to get through it. Survive,” Ben says.

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