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El Paso distillery goes from making rum to much-needed hand sanitizer: Find out how to buy it

sun city distillery
Ryan Carrillo
Owner and distiller Ryan Carrillo makes his first batch of hand sanitizer at Sun City Distillery.

EL PASO, Texas -- Sun City Distillery is now whipping up 100 gallons of hand sanitizer every week.

"Right now it's scarce," owner Ryan Carrillo said. "If people need your help, you help.”

The business has yet to officially open its doors to the public. But, Carrillo is busier now than he ever imagined.

"We got a letter from the TDSA, the Texas Distilled Spirits Association, and they were highly motivating and encouraging distilleries in Texas to transition to start doing this," Carrillo said. "They sent us the World Health Organization guidelines, and that’s how we’re making right now.”

Carrillo makes his with vegetable glycerine, ethanol and hydrogen peroxide.

"When you’re doing hand sanitizer, you’re looking for the strongest alcohol you can to kill the virus, the bacteria," he said. "What we’re doing is running [the stills] fast and hard. I’m heating it up higher than I would normally for a vodka or a rum.”

Carrillo said he's had hospitals, clinics and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office reach out to him for sanitizer.

He also said he wants to help local bars and businesses that have been affected by the pandemic. He's selling them bottles at the cost of production so that they can sell them for a profit and provide sanitizer for their customers.

"If they could get the five dollars per bottle, you can pay your staff, keep the lights on, and give people the ability to actually get ahold of hand sanitizer," he said.

If you're interested in purchasing sanitizer you can go to the Sun City Distillery website.

Coronavirus / Coronavirus Video / El Paso / Health / News / Video

Mauricio Casillas

El Paso native Mauricio Casillas co-anchors ABC-7’s Good Morning El Paso.


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