A distiller of Costa Rican origin in Maryland (USA) has substituted rum and whiskey from its barrels for 95% alcohol, with which it produces sanitary gel that it sells to local authorities and individuals to protect them against COVID-19


“We have been doing the gel sanitary for the county, the police, firefighters, paramedics and people in the county and in the federal district “, explains to Efe Edgardo Zuñiga, owner of Twin Valley Distillers, a Rockville (Maryland) distillery where until a few weeks ago it was produced and sold rum, whiskey, and vodka, among other liqueurs.

But with the arrival of the coronavirus, the wooden barrels that previously kept their delicious liqueurs are now full of alcohol ethanol 95% with which Zuñiga and the three employees who can still afford to pay produce gel disinfectant sold to firefighters, police and paramedics as well as individuals.

Zuñiga, who left his job as chef to open his own distillery, works from four in the morning to five in the afternoon every day to keep the production of this alcohol active, a task with some points in common with what he did. before the start of this crisis.

“Do ethanol it’s like technically making rum although we put the alcohol to distill a second time and we try to get it out with 95% alcohol “, he says sitting in the room that was previously the bar of his business, where he now distills so that the smells of his production Currently, the machines in which he hopes to continue making his liqueurs do not contaminate.

However, despite his efforts, Zuñiga acknowledges that the production of gel sanitary it does not compensate for the losses of $ 10,000 a week caused by a 90% reduction in its sales and the cancellation of all the events it had scheduled for spring and summer.

In addition, he explains that producing gel Disinfectant is increasingly difficult, as some of the products necessary for its preparation are scarce.

“The price has risen too much and we are already thinking of not doing more because the cost has risen and we are not making a profit to be able to have the lights on, it has to be reasonable. The point is going to come when we are going to have to close, God willing no, “he laments.

Despite the fact that he says he has a realistic character that makes him think that the closure of his company is the most likely scenario, Zuñiga is still hopeful that his business will survive and that then the county’s neighbors, who previously did not know that it existed his distillery, try to support him a little more as a token of appreciation.