ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Augustine Distillery is known for making its own bourbon, vodka, gin and rum.
Now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the distillery is making its own hand sanitizer to help protect the community from COVID-19.
The distillery’s first 200 bottles were given to the St. Augustine Police Department.
“These guys and gals have to get out there and do some work and it’s where they’re at. They’re right on the frontline, so having this readily available for them -- they’re super happy for it," said St. Augustine Distillery General Manager Matt Stevens. "It’s in the right hands.”
Stevens said the hand sanitizer, called “Heads Up,” is made from the alcohol heads, which is the highest proof of alcohol -- between 160 and 170 proof.
“And that’s the part that we don’t normally put in the bottle because it’s not the most flavorful and it’s not good for consumption, but that’s the part that we’re actually now using," Stevens said.
The distillery’s hand sanitizer, which also contains aloe vera and essential oils, comes in a spray bottle.
And it’s not just helping first responders, it’s also benefitting children. Stevens said the distillery isn’t selling the hand sanitizer, it’s only taking donations, which will go toward the American Legion Post 194 to benefit a children’s safe zone park that costs $100,000.
“We appreciate what they’re doing. It’s going to go a long way because, as you know, now with things being the way that they are, giving has slowed down just a little bit, so it’s a great thing and we really appreciate it," said American Legion Post 194 Commander Derry Greene.
Stevens said: “It makes us all feel good that we’re doing our part to try to help. It seems like the right thing to do and if people are in need, if we could just help one person not get something that they could have gotten without this, it just makes you sleep better at night.”
After St. Augustine police received their hand sanitizer, the distillery said that other local law enforcement officers and firefighters have requested some, as well.
The distillery said it’s going to have a soft opening Friday at its gift shop. There will be a limit of one bottle per person. There will also be an opportunity to leave a donation.